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Germany and Norway matched again

The two nations that have between them won every edition apart from the inaugural 1984 competition are matched in the semi-finals a fortnight after Germany beat Norway 4-0 in the group stage.

Fatmire Bajramaj celebrates scoring in the group game
Fatmire Bajramaj celebrates scoring in the group game ©Sportsfile

The two nations that have between them won every edition apart from the inaugural 1984 competition are matched in the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ semi-finals a fortnight after Germany beat Norway 4-0 in the group stage.

• On 24 August these sides met in their first Group B game in Tampere and after 33 minutes Birgit Prinz was fouled in the box and Linda Bresonik converted the penalty. The score remained the same until the 90th minute when, after Norway substitute Cecilie Pedersen – making her competitive debut – had broken clear and Nadine Angerer saved, Germany replacement Fatmire Bajramaj made it 2-0. In injury time fellow substitute Anja Mittag and Bajramaj added to the scoreline.

• Germany went on to clinch Group B with a 5-1 defeat of France, Inka Grings, Annike Krahn, Melanie Behringer, Bresonik (another penalty) and substitute Simone Laudehr on target. They then beat Iceland 1-0 with a 50th-minute goal from Grings, a substitute in that game.

• The holders, chasing a fifth straight title, then left Tampere for Lahti and overcame Italy 2-1 in the quarter-finals, Grings scoring early in each half before a Patrizia Panico consolation goal for the Azzurre.

• With that goal Grings matched her 2005 finals-leading tally of four and took the lead in the adidas Golden Boot award table.

• Germany have not failed to win a game in this competition since 1999, a 33-match run dating back to a 4-4 draw in Italy on 11 November of that year. In this edition they have won all 12 games including eight qualifiers.

• Their last EURO defeat was a 3-1 qualifying defeat at home to Norway on 2 May 1996, a 45-match run. Germany have won their last 17 EURO finals games dating back to a 0-0 draw with Norway on 3 July 1997. Since the introduction of an eight-team final tournament that year they are unbeaten in 19 such games; their last loss at a final stage was in the 1993 third-place match in Italy, when they lost 3-1 to Denmark having been knocked out by the hosts on penalties.

• After the loss to Germany, Norway beat Iceland 1-0 in Lahti with a Pedersen goal just before the break on her first international start. They then drew 1-1 with France after an early Lene Storløkken goal was cancelled out to go through as one of the two best third-placed teams.

• In the quarter-finals at the Helsinki Football Stadium, Norway defeated Sweden 3-1. In the last six minutes of the first half Elise Thorsnes's shot deflected in off Sweden defender Stina Segerström and then Trine Rønning, winning her 100th Norway cap, sent in a free-kick from the right which Sweden's Sara Thunebro could only direct into the path of Anneli Giske, who gratefully scored from close range. Pedersen came off the bench for Thorsnes on 57 minutes and on the hour made it three before Victoria Sandell Svensson's consolation goal.

• Norway won the second UEFA Competition for National Representative Women Teams in 1987 and the second UEFA European Women's Championship six years later. In 1995 they beat Germany 2-0 in Stockholm to win the FIFA Women's World Cup.

• Germany won the third and final UEFA Competition for National Representative Women Teams in 1989 with a 4-1 victory against Norway in Osnabruck and the first UEFA European Women's Championship two years later, beating the same team 3-1 after extra time in Aalborg. After Norway took the title in 1993, Germany regained it in 1995 and successfully defended it in 1997, 2001 and 2005, also winning the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.

• Germany are meeting Norway for the 33rd time in a senior international and thanks to their Matchday 1 win lead 14-13 in victories with five draws, having scored 54 goals to their opponents' 46.

• Not only did the teams meet in the 2005 final in Blackburn, Germany winning 3-1, but they had also played – like this time – in an opening Group B fixture. The holders prevailed 1-0 in Warrington with a 61st-minute Conny Pohlers goal.

• The teams for the group game were:
Silke Rottenberg, Kerstin Stegemann, Ariane Hingst, Steffi Jones, Sandra Minnert, Kerstin Garefrekes, Inka Grings, Navina Omilade (Britta Carlson), Conny Pohlers (Petra Wimbersky), Anja Mittag, Inga Grings (Sandra Smisek).
Norway: Bente Nordby, Marianne Paulsen, Marit Fiane Christensen, Ane Stangeland, Gunhild Følstad, Solveig Gulbrandsen, Ingvild Stensland, Trine Rønning, Dagny Mellgren, Stine Frantzen (Isabell Herlovsen), Unni Lehn (Lise Klaveness).

• Herlovsen's 83rd-minute appearance aged 16 years 348 days made her the youngest player in the history of the finals. Three days later she became the youngest goalscorer with her strike against France.

• In the 2005 final Grings gave Germany a 21st-minute lead and Renate Lingor made it 2-0 three minutes later. Dagny Mellgren pulled one back for Norway on 41 minutes but Prinz, who had missed the group game through injury, made sure of her fourth European title in the 63rd minute.

• The teams for the final were:
Silke Rottenberg, Kerstin Garefrekes, Ariane Hingst, Steffi Jones, Sandra Minnert, Britta Carlson (Sarah Günther), Inka Grings (Sandra Smisek), Renate Lingor, Conny Pohlers, Anja Mittag, (Petra Wimbersky), Birgit Prinz.
Norway: Bente Nordby, Marianne Paulsen, Marit Fiane Christensen, Ane Stangeland, Gunhild Følstad, Solveig Gulbrandsen, Ingvild Stensland, Trine Rønning (Marie Knutsen), Dagny Mellgren, Lise Klaveness (Kristin Blystad-Bjerke), Stine Frantzen (Isabell Herlovsen).

• Overall these teams have played eleven times in this competition, including four qualifiers, three group games, a semi-final and three finals. Germany have six of the encounters – including the last three – and Norway two, with Germany scoring 19 goals and Norway nine. As well as the 1989, 1991 and 2005 finals, Germany triumphed 1-0 in the 2001 semi-final and the Scandinavian side have only avoided defeat in EURO finals against Germany with a goalless draw on home soil in the 1997 tournament.

• However, Norway do have the edge on Germany in one competition; they beat them 3-2 in the group stage of the 1996 Olympic Games and 1-0 in the 2000 semi-finals on their way to claiming gold in Sydney.

• Since the 2005 EURO final Germany have beaten Norway 1-0 in the 2006 Algarve Cup before going down 2-1 to the same opponents a year later. In a pre-World Cup friendly in August 2007 in Mainz the teams drew 2-2 but in the semi-finals in China, Germany won 3-0. In the 2008 Algarve Cup, Norway won 2-0 and repeated the trick in a home friendly in July of that year.

• In the 2007 World Cup semi-final Trine Rønning put through a 42nd-minute own goal before Germany's Kerstin Stegemann made it 2-0 on 72 minutes and substitute Martina Müller increased the advantage three minutes later.

• The teams were:
Nadine Angerer, Kerstin Stegemann, Ariane Hingst, Linda Bresonik (Sandra Minnert), Kerstin Garefrekes, Simone Laudehr, Renate Lingor, Melanie Behringer (Fatmire Bajramaj), Sandra Smisek (Martina Müller), Birgit Prinz.
Norway: Bente Nordby, Gunhild Følstad (Siri Nordby), Trine Rønning, Ane Stangeland, Camilla Huse, Solveig Gulbrandsen (Lene Storløkken) Ingvild Stensland, Marie Knutsen, Leni Larsen Kaurin, Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, Isabell Herlovsen (Lise Klaveness).

• If Germany's Kulig, Bresonik or Saskia Bartusiak or Norway duo Rønning or Maren Mjelde are booked and their side win, they will miss the final.

• After this tournament, Germany's next scheduled competitive match is their opening game as hosts of the 2011 World Cup on 26 June 2011 at Berlin's Olympiastadion. The final is on 17 July in Frankfurt, with further host cities including Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden, Leverkusen, Monchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg. The only previous World Cup in Europe was in Sweden in 1995, when Norway beat Germany 2-0 in the final in Stockholm.