Norway thrilled after booking finals return

Norway's Thomas Rogne was adamant his side deserved to progress after fighting off a dogged France, whose coach Eric Mombaerts was quick to congratulate the hosts.

Thomas Rogne takes the congratulations after putting Norway 3-0 ahead
Thomas Rogne takes the congratulations after putting Norway 3-0 ahead ©AFP/Getty Images

After coming through a remarkable play-off second leg featuring eight goals and a stirring French fightback, Norway's Thomas Rogne and Håvard Nordtveit insisted their side deserved to qualify for their first UEFA European Under-21 Championship since 1998. The hosts had streaked into a 5-1 lead in Drammen before two late goals from France – who had won the first game 1-0 – set up a nervous ending. However, the visitors could not find a final strike to steal the tie on away goals, though their coach was quick to congratulate the victors.

Thomas Rogne, Norway defender
Our start was very good. We got everything we wanted from the beginning of the half. Then they scored an easy goal before half-time. In second half they came out pretty hard, pushing us back, then we scored on the counterattack and another to make it 5-1. They pulled two back, and made it very exciting, but we felt we were in control and in the end we feel we deserved the win.

Håvard Nordtveit, Norway midfielder
We were told to go out and attack, and we did that and went 3-0 up, which gave us the spark we needed. However it became a bit nerve-wracking in the last few minutes, but we felt we were going to hold the lead and we did.

Tor Ole Skullerud, Norway assistant coach
It was a fantastic first half and then a half that was a bit surreal. It was an even start, but when we got ahead we took over the match. In the second half we had some big chances on the counterattack, and the end of the match was unreal, because we felt in control with ten minutes left. They scored twice, but in the end we felt we deserved the win and deserved to qualify.

Eric Mombaerts, France coach
First of all, congratulations to Norway. It was an incredible game. We started poorly and, for us, the game was lost in the first ten minutes.