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Confident Strandberg sums up Norway pride

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 21.45CET
There was a sense of pride in the Norway camp after the draw with Italy that confirmed their semi-final spot, with Stefan Strandberg warning: "On a good day we can beat anybody."
by Simon Hart
from Bloomfield Stadium

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Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 21.45CET

Confident Strandberg sums up Norway pride

There was a sense of pride in the Norway camp after the draw with Italy that confirmed their semi-final spot, with Stefan Strandberg warning: "On a good day we can beat anybody."

Norway captain Stefan Strandberg admitted to some frustration after seeing his late penalty cancelled out by an even later Italy equaliser in the sides' 1-1 draw in Tel Aviv, yet his overriding emotion was pride. "It's a big achievement for us," said Strandberg who warned the Norwegians' prospective semi-final opponents – the Netherlands or Spain – that "we can beat anybody".

Stefan Strandberg, Norway defender
I think it was a fair result – 1-0 to us would have been little bit unfair as Italy had a lot of chances and were the better team. When you concede a goal at the end like this, it's always frustrating but sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. We got a late goal against Israel that was more important than this. It's a big achievement for Norway [to reach the last four]. I think Italy is 58, 60 million people; we are four or five million so it's a big achievement for us.

We've got many really good young players, as you saw tonight when we substituted the whole squad [Norway made nine changes from their last game]. It's good we're in the semi-finals and we're going to meet the Netherlands or Spain, so it's going to be a really tough game, but if we have a good day we can beat anybody.

[On stepping up to take his late penalty] I am the captain and I have to give a good example and I was sure I was going to score.

Arild Østbø, Norway goalkeeper
[On making his first appearance in the finals] It was nice – I had a good time until the last minute. It was a good experience to take with me. I thought I played a good game until the last moments but that's the life of a goalkeeper. I just have to look forward and take with me the good things that I did in the game.

Vegar Hedenstad, Norway defender
I am proud of my country – to be in the semi-finals with this team, with these guys, makes me very proud. There is some frustration to not win but at the same time it's good to be in the semi-finals. I am looking forward to it as it's always good to play against good players and I hope we can beat Spain or Holland, but we will see – they are two really good teams.

[On his second-half free-kick against the crossbar] Yes, it was a good hit, I thought it was just going to go in – it took a late dip but maybe next time.

Last updated: 12/06/13 11.13CET

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