Portugal and Norway made comfortable progress from UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round Group 9 in Malta.
Both sides beat the hosts and Iceland on the opening two matchdays to make sure of their progress to the elite round in March. Iver Fossum registered for the third successive game as Norway clinched top spot with a 1-0 win against Portugal today going into the 5 December draw. "I'm very happy with qualification and the performance of my team," said Norway coach Bård Flovik. "I thought we were the best team here."
Norway opened with a 2-1 defeat of Malta, Zymer Bytyqi and Fossum scoring before the break with Malta captain Jurgen Degabriele pulling one back early in the second half. Portugal defeated Iceland 4-2 and were four up just past the hour thanks to José Postiga's hat-trick.
Fossum and Bytyqi struck again as Norway beat Iceland 2-0 two days later and the two qualifiers were confirmed when Portugal overcame Malta 2-1. Antoine Attard did cancel out Gonçalo Guedes's 17th-minute goal but Rui Moreira claimed what proved the winner just before the break despite having a penalty saved by Philip Shranz in the second half.
Malta ended with a third defeat on Thursday, Kristinn Sigurjonsson and Eggert Tómasson's penalty earning Iceland a 2-0 victory. However, Iceland cannot advance as one of the two best third-placed teams.
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