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 qualified for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship for the first time since 1998 after overturning a first-leg deficit in an eight-goal thriller in Drammen.
With France holding a one-goal advantage, the hosts streaked into a 5-1 lead by the 66th minute of the second leg before two late goals from Alexandre Lacazette, who was subsequently dismissed, and Antoine Griezmann almost helped Eric Mombaerts' side steal the tie.
The French may have finished strongly, but they were rabbits in the headlights in the opening quarter. After Jo Inge Berget was brought down in the box, Harmet Singh fired in the opener from the spot, before Håvard Nielsen converted Berget's pass to double the lead. Thomas Rogne's free-kick made it three on 27 minutes, though Joshua Guilavogui stemmed the tide briefly with a neat finish moments later.
After the break Lacazette and Chris Mavinga almost put France level on aggregate, and ahead on away goals, only to be denied by Orjan Nyland Haskjold in the home goal, and when Anders Konradssen and Berget added to the scoreline it appeared Norway's progress was confirmed.
However, Lacazette pounced after Rémy Cabella's shot came back off Haskjold, and, despite France being reduced to ten men, Griezmann drilled in from inside the area to set up a tense finish. One more goal would have put the visitors through, and Per Joar Hansen's men out, but Norway held on to seal their second ever finals appearance.
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|Per Joar Hansen (NOR)||Erick Mombaerts (FRA)|
|Paolo Valeri (ITA)|
|Massimiliano Grilli (ITA), Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)|
|Daniele Doveri (ITA)|