Norway may have kicked off their 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship campaign with a resounding 5-0 defeat by a rampant Germany side but, speaking to UEFA.com, captain Guro Reiten insisted all is not lost.
"Germany are a very good team and are always among the favourites. I've experienced a couple of big losses against them and it doesn't get any easier to take," said the 19-year-old, a substitute when Norway lost 8-1 to Germany in the 2011 final. "It was a nightmare, but we've still got two matches to play in the group [against Finland and Sweden respectively] and if we win them both we'll be through to the semi-finals."
Reiten's team-mate Andrea Thun was also focusing on the positives. "When you play the likes of Germany, you get to see just how good they are and what we need to do to reach the same level," said the No10, who touched down on Welsh soil just a week after beginning a psychology degree. "Tournaments like these are a really great experience, both for us as people and for our development as football players.
"I've never played against Finland before, but our coaches will have done a lot of analysis on their team to make sure we're very well-prepared and get our tactics right on Thursday," added the 19-year-old forward, before letting her mind briefly stray to Sunday 25 August's final Group B clash against the 2012 champions. "There's not really too much rivalry between us and Finland, but there definitely is between us and Sweden!"
She would be wise not to look too far ahead, however, as defeat against Marianne Miettinen's enterprising Finnish team – who held sway for much of their opening 1-1 draw with the holders – would be another hammer blow to Norway's hopes of reaching the last four.
"We need to stop thinking about the Germany game and get back to what we usually do: having fun," said Reiten on how she intends to help lift her team-mates' morale ahead of the game at Llanelli's Parc y Scarlets. "Tournaments like these, when you're playing against some of the very best teams in the world, are what you train for every day. Two years ago we lost our first game and reached the final, so why can't we do that again?"
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