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Denmark hope for third time lucky against Norway

Denmark will be hoping for a change of fortunes when they face Norway for the third time in a UEFA European Women's Championship semi-final, having lost the previous two.

Ingvild Isaksen leads Norway's celebrations after their last-eight win
Ingvild Isaksen leads Norway's celebrations after their last-eight win ©Sportsfile

Two-time winners Norway will lock horns with Denmark to determine who will advance to Sunday's showpiece in a third UEFA European Women's Championship semi-final between the Scandinavian rivals.

Head-to-head record
• The two sides have met 41 times in the past, with Norway clinching 18 wins to Denmark's 11 and the other 12 matches ending in draws. On the goals front, Norway edge Denmark by 79 to 51.

• Denmark got the better of their early meetings, prevailing in the first three friendlies between the teams. They won the first 2-0 on home soil in Brande on 8 July 1978 in Norway's second ever international; the Norwegians had lost their first 2-1 to Sweden the previous day.

• The first competitive encounter between the teams produced a 2-2 draw on 2 October 1985, during qualifying for the 1987 UEFA European Women's Championship. Norway's maiden victory against the Danes the came in the return game, a 5-2 triumph that helped them take the only finals spot available in their group. Norway promptly went on to win the first of their European titles.

• The sides met again on the road to the 1989 final tournament, and this time Denmark tasted victory in both matches, engineering a 1-0 success in Oslo before posting a 3-2 victory in Aalborg. Both teams progressed from their group, but while Denmark lost to Sweden in the last eight, Norway finished runners-up to Germany.

• On 10 June 1991, a Norway team coached by Even Pellerud defeated Denmark 8-7 on penalties at the end of a goalless draw in the 1991 UEFA European Women's Championship semi-finals. The Norwegians again finished runners-up to Germany in the showpiece.

• Four months later, on 21 November, Pellerud's Norway ran out 2-1 victors against Denmark during the group stage at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.

• Still helmed by Pellerud, the Norwegians then claimed their second continental title two years later, beating Italy 1-0 in the final after seeing off Denmark by the same scoreline in the last four on 29 June 1993.

• Pellerud was also in charge as Norway continued their run of competitive wins against their rivals by downing Denmark 3-1 in Karlstad, Sweden, in the quarter-finals of the 1995 World Cup. They eventually went on to claim their sole world title, defeating Germany 2-0 in the decider in Solna.

• Pellerud was no longer in charge when the teams crossed swords again at the 1997 European finals, but Norway swept the Danes aside in a 5-0 triumph – still the joint biggest win in a finals encounter. Katrine Søndergaard Pedersen came off the bench for Denmark.

• Their next significant showdown came at UEFA Women's EURO 2001, when Denmark celebrated their first success against their neighbours in a competitive fixture, winning 1-0. Søndergaard Pedersen was again in action for the Danes, while Solveig Gulbrandsen started for Norway.

• The most recent competitive fixtures involving the two teams were contested on the road to UEFA Women's EURO 2005. The first meeting yielded a 1-1 draw in Oslo on 11 September 2003, Trine Rønning and Gulbrandsen featuring for Norway while Julie Rydahl and Søndergaard Pedersen played for Denmark.

• Denmark edged the return encounter 2-1 in Odense on 27 May 2004, with Norway's Marit Fiane Christensen, Rønning and Gulbrandsen lining up against Mariann Gajhede Knudsen, Rydahl, Søndergaard Pedersen and substitute Johanna Rasmussen. Both teams won all their other games in their qualifying section, before Norway ultimately finished runners-up to Germany once again.

• More recently, the teams have crossed paths in each edition of the Algarve Cup over the past five years, Denmark triumphing in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and Norway sealing fifth spot following a penalty shoot-out success in 2011. In March this year, they contested a goalless stalemate during the group stage.

The lineups for that 0-0 draw at the Estádio Municipal da Bela Vista in Parchal, Portugal, on 8 March 2013 were:
Norway: Hjelmseth, Lund (Ryland 56), Holstad Berge, Fiane Christensen (Hammersland 56), Akerhaugen, Stensland (Mykjåland 60), Knudsen (Mjelde 69), Isaksen (Ims 83), Kaurin (Hansen 75), Hegerberg, Hegland.
Denmark: Petersen, Røddik, Søndergaard Pedersen, Arnth, Brogaard, T Nielsen, Gajhede Knudsen (Junge Pedersen 46), Harder (Hovesen 65), Veje (Christiansen 46), Rasmussen (Ørntoft 65), Smidt Nielsen (Munk 57).

• The two nations have likewise tussled in notable Under-19 games, with Denmark beating Norway 3-1 in the group stage at the 2002 UEFA European Women's U19 Championship in Sweden. Gajhede Knudsen and Rasmussen played for the Danes, with the latter notching the opener.

• In the second qualifying round ahead of the 2007 finals, the two teams drew 1-1 in Romania. Nanna Christiansen struck for a Denmark lineup that also included Emma Madsen, with Elise Thorsnes equalising on 88 minutes as part of a Norway team featuring Ingvild Isaksen, Marita Lund and Maren Mjelde.

• They then faced again in the group stage at the 2007 tournament in Iceland, when Norway prevailed 2-1. Christiansen and Madsen were again involved for the Danes, while Thorsnes, Isaksen, Lund and Mjelde played for Norway, Isaksen grabbing a goal.

• Norway reached the semi-finals courtesy of a comfortable 3-1 defeat of Spain in Kalmar, Gulbrandsen breaking the deadlock on 24 minutes and an Irene Paredes own goal (43) doubling their lead, before Ada Hegerberg's excellent effort (64) put the match to bed. Jennifer Hermoso struck Spain's consolation in added time.

• Before that, Pellerud's charges took top spot in Group B thanks to a 1-0 defeat of Germany in Kalmar. Ingvild Isaksen's goal (45+1) ended the holders' 59-game unbeaten run in UEFA European Women's Championship matches. That came after an opening 1-1 draw with Iceland and a 1-0 success against the Netherlands, Gulbrandsen (54) hitting the winner.

• Norway have now reached at least the semi-finals in their last four UEFA Women's EUROs. They were beaten 1-0 by Germany in their last-four encounter in the 2001 edition, in which teams went straight to the semi-finals after the group stage.

• They lost 3-1 to the same opponents in the 2005 final having again gone straight to the last four after the group stage.

• Having beaten Sweden 3-1 in the quarter-finals in Finland in 2009, Germany once again proved Norway's bête noire, recording a 3-1 win in their last-four tie.

• Norway's overall UEFA European Women's Championship record (including qualifying) reads: Played 113 Won 78 Drawn 17 Lost 18.

• It took a dramatic penalty shoot-out win for Denmark to edge past France and into the last four, Kenneth Heiner-Møller's side winning 4-2 from the spot at the end of a 1-1 draw.

• Rasmussen put the Danes in front after 28 minutes in Linkoping, and although Louisa Necib equalised with a penalty (71), the same player had her attempt saved by Stina Petersen in the shoot-out. France's Sarah Bouhaddi kept out Theresa Nielsen, but Sabrina Delannoy hit the woodwork and Janni Arnth did the rest.

• Despite coming through that test, Denmark have yet to win a match in regulation time at Sweden 2013. Petersen saved a pair of penalties to secure a 1-1 draw with the hosts in their first Group A outing and they were held 1-1 by Finland in their second, before losing 2-1 to Italy.

• That left them third in the section with two points, the same as Russia in Group C, and it went to a drawing of lots to decide who would advance as the second-best third-placed team. Denmark were picked by UEFA Executive Committee member Karen Espelund in Norrkoping.

• Denmark's overall UEFA European Women's Championship record (including qualifying) reads: Played 103 Won 63 Drawn 16 Lost 24.

Team ties
• Norway's Stabæk FK tackled Brøndby IF in last season's UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32, triumphing 2-0 at home before a 3-3 away draw.

• Denmark's Søndergaard Pedersen played in that tie for Stabæk along with Norway's Ingrid Hjelmseth, Toril Akerhaugen, Ingvild Stensland, Rydahl, Leni Kaurin, Caroline Graham Hansen, Hegerberg and Cathrine Dekkerhus. They faced Petersen, Cecilie Sandvej, Malene Olsen, Nielsen, Christiansen, Mia Brogaard and Madsen.

• Stensland and Hegerberg found the net in the first leg, while Hegerberg, Kaurin, Christiansen (two) and Stensland all scored in the exciting return encounter.