Yugoslavia ease past indifferent Norway in EURO 2000 Group C
Monday, October 6, 2003
Norway 0-1 Yugoslavia
Savo Milošević's early strike moved Yugoslavia to within a point of a place in the last eight.
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Savo Milošević's early strike earned Yugoslavia a victory that leaves Group C wide open going into the concluding fixtures.
Fresh from his two goals as ten-man Yugoslavia recovered from 3-0 down to draw, Milošević was on target inside eight minutes in Liege, diverting in Ljubinko Drulović's inswinging free-kick from the right. It was enough to take Vujadin Boškov's side top of the section, and a point against Spain next time out will take them through to the UEFA EURO 2000 quarter-finals.
Norway need to beat Slovenia to guarantee their own progress and Nils Johan Semb's side will be keen to make a better start than they mustered here. Vladimir Jugović had already rifled narrowly over when Milošević broke the deadlock for a Yugoslavia outfit quickly into their stride despite showing five changes to the XI that began against Slovenia.
Yugoslavia were threatening to take control and Norway were grateful for the backtracking Tore André Flo as he got his body in the way of a Drulović pile-driver. The Chelsea FC striker was soon in more comfortable surroundings, drawing a spectacular fingertip save from Ivica Kralj after latching on to Erik Mykland's pass.
Thomas Myhre was forced into similar acrobatics at the other end when the lively Predrag Mijatović turned Bjørn Otto Bragstad on the edge of the area and fired in a firm left-foot shot. The game really opened up. Steffen Iversen called Kralj into action again with a useful header; Slaviša Jokanović and Vladimir Jugović replied with half-chances for Yugoslavia.
Already shorn of injured skipper Henning Berg, Norway's defence was further depleted by the loss of Vegard Heggem and replacement Stig Inge Bjørnebye almost made an immediate, fatal mistake. Caught upfield, Drulović played Dragan Stojković into the space vacated on the counterattack but the Yugoslavia captain chipped just past the post.
The second half brought more of the same as Jugović and Mijatović tested Myhre, while Norway's long-ball tactics brought only two real chances. First Eirik Bakke headed just over, before substitute John Carew squandered a golden opportunity late on, meekly side-footing wide. By then Yugoslavia was down to ten men as Mateja Kežman, on the pitch for barely a minute, was dismissed after a bad foul on Mykland.
Norway: Myhre; Heggem (Bjørnebye 35), Eggen, Bragstad, Bergdølmo; E. Bakke (Strand 76), Skammelsrud (c), Mykland, Iversen (Carew 71); T.A. Flo, Solskjær
Substitutes: Olsen, Solbakken, Andersen, Rekdal, Riise, Riseth, M. Bakke
Coach: Nils Johan Semb
Yugoslavia: Kralj; Komljenović, Djukić, Saveljić, Djorović; Stojković (c) (Nadj 84), Jugović, Jokanović (Govedarica 89), Drulović; Mijatović (Kežman 97), Milošević
Substitutes: Korać, Cicović, Dudić, Bunjevčević, Mihajlović, Saveljić, J. Stanković, D. Stanković, Kovačević
Coach: Vujadin Boškov
Referee: Hugh Dallas (Scotland)
Man of the Match: Dragan Stojković (Yugoslavia)