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The 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship comprises a qualifying group stage and play-off round to determine which seven teams join hosts Israel in the final tournament.
Qualifying group stage
Teams are split into ten groups – two of six teams and eight of five – and play each other on a home and away basis. The ten group winners and four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs.
Play-off matches are played according to the knockout system, with each team playing each opponent home and away. The team which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals, extra time and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The final tournament comprises the seven play-off winners and Israel, who qualify automatically as hosts. The eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays each other once in their group with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals where the winner of Group A plays the Group B runner-up and vice-versa. The winners advance to the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Norway squandered a host of chances in their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 8 encounter with Azerbaijan, but Marcus Pedersen's goal was enough to keep them in touch with section leaders England.
With few openings for either side in the first half-hour, it was Pedersen who provided the first moment of excitement, the Vitesse forward planting a perfect header past Salahat Aghayev after Vegar Hedenstad's excellent run and cross from the left. Minutes later Harmet Singh tested Aghayev, who showed excellent reactions to keep the lead to one.
The hosts continued to dominate after the break but Pedersen, substitute Jo Inge Berget and Anders Konradssen all spurned clear openings. Berget had a free-kick blocked on the line and captain Stefan Strandberg blasted the rebound over the bar, but it mattered little as Norway completed the double over Azerbaijan to move five points behind England with a game in hand.
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