The official website for European football

Olsen has Norway dreaming again

Published: Wednesday 8 September 2010, 12.15CET
Egil Olsen reckons Norway's chances of reaching UEFA EURO 2012 have "risen to 60%" after a 1-0 victory over Portugal brought memories of the team's 1990s heyday flooding back.
by Eivind Aarre
from Stavanger
Olsen has Norway dreaming again
Norway coach Egil Olsen ©Getty Images

Match statistics

NorwayPortugal

Goals scored1
 
0
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts4
 
14
Attempts on target2
 
4
Attempts off target2
 
9
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners2
 
3
Offsides1
 
4
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Fouls suffered0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 8 September 2010, 12.15CET

Olsen has Norway dreaming again

Egil Olsen reckons Norway's chances of reaching UEFA EURO 2012 have "risen to 60%" after a 1-0 victory over Portugal brought memories of the team's 1990s heyday flooding back.

You would have been forgiven for thinking a time machine had transported you back to the 1990s given the scenes at the final whistle at Ullevaal on Tuesday night.

I am proud to captain this team
Brede Hangeland

At the centre of the celebrations, after Norway had beaten Portugal 1-0, was the same coach that took Norway to the FIFA World Cups of 1994 and 1998 – and a best FIFA world ranking of No2 in 1995.

Egil Olsen, or 'Drillo' as he is known in Norway, was called in as a stopgap when Åge Hareide quit in late 2008. Since then, however, the 68-year-old has seen his side mature into a hard-working unit that plays football the way he likes it.

"I am the first to admit our attacking play leaves a lot to be desired, but defensively we are world class when the players perform like this," said Olsen after the victory over a Portugal team defeated only once in 21 matches, by Spain at the World Cup.

The winning goal epitomised what Tuesday's Oslo success was all about. John Carew challenged Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo, and the ball fell loose for Erik Huseklepp to slot into an empty net. "I strained my thigh when I made that challenge, and had to come off later, but it was worth it as this win was so important," centre-forward Carew said.

Skipper and central defender Brede Hangeland spoke of "one of the high points of my career", adding: "All the lads gave their all, and the aggression we showed in our defensive play has to be admired. I am proud to captain this team."

Olsen will be in charge until after the 2012 finals as he looks to add a UEFA European Football Championship appearance to his resume after missing out in 1992 and 1996. "After we beat Iceland [on 3 September] I said our chances [of qualifying] were 50%, now they have risen to 60%," he said. Those odds will improve further should Norway make it three Group H wins out of three in Cyprus on 8 October.

Last updated: 08/09/10 15.21CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1525399.html#olsen+norway+dreaming

  • © 1998-2013 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.