Norway aim to end Germany final jinx
Friday, July 26, 2013
Norway may have beaten Germany in the group stage, but they have lost all three of their previous UEFA European Women's Championship final meetings with their old rivals.
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Norway got the better of Germany during the group stage but they have yet to win a UEFA European Women's Championship final against their old rivals in three previous attempts as the two sides gear up for Sunday's showpiece in Solna.
• This will be the 37th encounter between the teams. Of 36 games so far, Germany lead 17-14 in wins and 62-48 in goals.
• The countries have already crossed paths at Sweden 2013, Norway inflicting a 1-0 defeat on Germany to clinch top spot in Group B on 17 July. Ingvild Isaksen's goal (45+1) ended the holders' long unbeaten run in UEFA European Women's Championship matches.
• Germany had not lost a UEFA European Women's Championship fixture since a 3-1 home qualifying reverse to Norway on 2 May 1996. The 59-game unbeaten streak included 53 wins and six draws.
The sides for the Group B meeting at Kalmar Arena on 17 July were:
Germany: Angerer; Wensing, Krahn, Bartusiak, Maier; Kessler, Laudehr (Behringer 66); Lotzen (Däbritz 79), Marozsán, Leupolz (Mittag 66); Okoyino da Mbabi.
Norway: Hjelmseth; Mjelde, Lund, Holstad Berge, Akerhaugen; Tofte Ims (Gulbrandsen 58), Isaksen, Dekkerhus; Haavi (Stensland 72), Hegerberg, Thorsnes (Hansen 58).
• The teams will be contesting a second match at a single edition of the UEFA Women's EURO for a third consecutive time, having also faced each other twice at England 2005 and Finland 2009.
• Germany opened their title defence four years ago against Norway and won 4-0 in Tampere. Three goals came after the 89th minute, two from Fatmire Bajramaj either side of an Anja Mittag strike.
• Along with that duo, both on as substitutes, the Germans fielded Nadine Angerer, Annike Krahn, Melanie Behringer, Bianca Schmidt and fellow sub Célia Okoyino da Mbabi. Meanwhile, Ingrid Hjelmseth, Toril Akerhaugen, Ingvild Stensland, Elise Thorsnes, Maren Mjelde, Trine Rønning, Solveig Gulbrandsen and substitute Leni Larsen Kaurin featured for Norway.
• A fortnight later, the sides were rematched in Helsinki in the semi-finals. Norway led at the break only for substitutes Simone Laudehr, Okoyino da Mbabi and Bajramaj to turn the game the way of the eventual trophy winners.
• In addition to that trio of substitutes, Germany's Angerer, Saskia Bartusiak, Krahn, Behringer and Schmidt took on Norway's Hjelmseth, Marita Lund, Gulbrandsen, Akerhaugen, Stensland and Mjelde.
• Four years previously, Germany kicked off the UEFA Women's EURO 2005 group stage with a 1-0 victory over Norway in Warrington and then beat the same opponents 3-1 in the showpiece in Blackburn. Mittag started for the winners against Marit Christensen, Rønning and Gulbrandsen. It was Silvia Neid's last match as assistant before becoming Germany's head coach.
• The first of these nations' three UEFA European Women's Championship final meetings was on 2 July 1989 in Osnabruck, when a West Germany team containing Neid won 4-1 against a Norway side managed, as now, by Even Pellerud.
• Two years later in the 1991 decider, Germany prevailed 3-1 in Aalborg, Neid's 85th-minute goal clinching victory against Pellerud's charges.
• Germany and Norway have locked horns in several other UEFA European Women's Championship games – and have, in fact, met at least once at every final tournament since a group stage was introduced in 1997. Their first tussle came during qualifying for the 1987 edition, eventual champions Norway triumphing 3-2 away and drawing 0-0 at home, with Neid in action for Germany.
• Those were the second and third matches between the teams overall, the earliest being a friendly in Helmstedt, West Germany, that Norway won 4-1 on 2 May 1984.
• Pellerud had moved on and Neid retired when they were drawn together in 1997 qualifying, Norway winning 3-1 away – Germany's last EURO loss until Norway beat them earlier this month – and drawing 0-0 at home.
• It was also goalless in the final round group stage in Moss in '97 – the last time Germany had failed to win a EURO finals game until the 0-0 draw with the Netherlands in Vaxjo on 11 July. (They succumbed to Norway six days later.) Nadine Angerer was an unused substitute in that earlier match. Germany went on to win the tournament, while joint-hosts Norway fell in the group stage for the only time.
• Germany grabbed victory in the other UEFA Women's EURO fixture involving the two countries, edging their 2001 semi-final 1-0 on home soil in Ulm. Gulbrandsen started the game for Norway.
• That came a year after the Norwegians had seen off Germany by the same scoreline in the 2000 Olympic semi-finals prior to winning gold. With Pellerud in charge, Norway also overcame Germany 3-2 in the 1996 Olympics on their way to a bronze medal.
• At FIFA Women's World Cup level, Pellerud earned revenge for his team's 1993 UEFA European Women's Championship final loss when Norway beat a Germany side including Neid 2-0 in the 1995 showpiece in Solna, at the old Råsundastadion.
• En route to winning her first tournament in charge, Neid oversaw a 3-0 2007 Women's World Cup semi-final defeat of Norway in Tianjin, China. Rønning, who scored an own goal, was joined by Stensland, Gulbrandsen, and Kaurin, and they took on Angerer, Krahn, Laudehr and Behringer, who was replaced in the first half by Bajramaj.
• Angerer, Bartusiak, Krahn, Behringer and Schmidt all started for Germany; Hjelmseth, Akerhaugen, Lund, Stensland, Gulbrandsen, Kaurin and Mjelde were in the Norway lineup.
• Norway's last win against Germany before Sweden 2013 was a 2-0 friendly triumph in Sandefjord on 23 July 2008, four months after a similar Algarve Cup success. They met again in the Algarve Cup this year, Germany prevailing 2-0 on 11 March to hand Pellerud his first defeat since returning as Norway coach.
• These nations have also been matched in two youth deciders. In the 2001 UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship, Neid's Germany edged Norway 3-2 in Lillestrom, with Rønning on the losing side.
• A decade later in the U19 event that replaced the U18 classification, Germany thrashed Norway 8-1 in Imola, Luisa Wensing scoring the only first-half goal.
• Neid's squad booked their place in the final with Wednesday's 1-0 triumph against hosts Sweden in Gothenburg, Dzsenifer Marozsán rolling the ball in after 33 minutes before the holders withstood heavy pressure.
• That was also the scoreline as Germany sneaked past Italy in the quarter-finals, Laudehr registering the winner as her team bounced back from their loss to Norway, which consigned them to second place in Group B.
• Before that, Germany began their title defence with a goalless draw against the Netherlands, ending a run of 19 successive victories at UEFA Women's EURO finals.
• Their sole win in the group stage came against Iceland in their second outing. Lena Lotzen, with her first senior international goal, opened the scoring before a double from Okoyino da Mbabi sealed a 3-0 success.
• Da Mbabi's two goals took her to 19 for the competition (including qualifying), eclipsing the 18-year record of her compatriot Patricia Brocker (18) for a single UEFA European Women's Championship.
• Germany's overall UEFA European Women's Championship record (including qualifying) reads: Played 114 Won 88 Drawn 19 Lost 7.
• Pellerud's troops required a penalty shoot-out to reach the final, beating Denmark 4-2 on spot kicks after Thursday's 1-1 draw in Norrkoping. Norway took a third-minute lead via Marit Christensen but were pegged back when Mariann Gajhede Knudsen levelled three minutes from time. Hjelmseth saved two penalties in the shoot-out.
• 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 doubling their advantage, before Ada Hegerberg's excellent effort put the match to bed. Jennifer Hermoso struck Spain's consolation in added time.
• Norway won Group B thanks to their victory against Germany, having opened with a 1-1 draw against Iceland and a 1-0 success against the Netherlands, Gulbrandsen hitting the winner.
• Norway's overall UEFA European Women's Championship record (including qualifying) reads: Played 114 Won 78 Drawn 18 Lost 18.
• Norway have several players with German league experience. Kaurin played alongside Schmidt and Mittag at 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam between 2007 and 2009. Kaurin counted Angerer, Bartusiak, Svenja Huth and Marozsán as team-mates at 1. FFC Frankfurt in 2009/10 and played with Nadine Kessler and Lena Goessling at VfL Wolfsburg between 2010 and 2012.