Norway and Cyprus came through a series of tough tests to emerge from UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying Group 4, holding off the challenges of Iceland and Latvia.
It was Latvia who took the early initiative in the section with a 2-0 defeat of Iceland on matchday one, while Norway came from 2-0 and 3-2 down to draw 3-3 with Cyprus thanks to Henrik Kjelsrud Johansen's 90th-minute equaliser. There was more frustration for the hosts in the second round of games, when they were held 1-1 by Iceland, Norway taking advantage to climb top of the table courtesy of a 2-0 victory against Latvia.
The roles were reversed on the section's final day, however, as Norway drew 2-2 with Iceland in Larnaca. Cyprus had no such problems, with second-half goals from Nikos Englezou and Zacharias Theodorou securing the points against Latvia, although Apostolos Makrides' team lost out to Norway for first place on goals scored.
"We are deservedly in the next round," said Makrides. "A big congratulations is in order for the entire team. We worked hard ahead of this tournament and it's a great accomplishment to go through. We now look ahead to the next round of games, although we know things will be tough there."
Norway's Knut Thorbjørn Eggen added: "We're very satisfied to have moved into the next round. We have a lot of good, skilful players that can be influential in this team. We have a good record and we have a good chance to reach the finals of the competition."
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