Norway took control of UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying Group 6 with a comfortable win against Russia, who had not previously dropped a point.
FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finalists Norway had two victories from as many games prior to today, one less than Russia, and despite the post-World Cup retirements of Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, Lise Klaveness and Camilla Huse, they set about putting that right from the start. On 23 minutes Melissa Wiik turned in Leni Larsen Kaurin's excellent cross from the right and it was Kaurin who created the next goal midway through the second half, her centre headed in by Solveig Gulbrandsen.
There were concerns for Norway when Ane Stangeland Horpestad and Ingvild Stensland both went off with injuries, though that did allow 17-year-old Maren Mjelde to come on for her debut. And the substitutions did not stop them keeping up their record of winning all their qualifiers 3-0 as Gulbrandsen returned the favour for the second goal by setting up Kaurin to lob in the third two minutes from time. Fixtures in this group resume in May when Norway welcome Israel and Poland, who are two points adrift of the leading pair having played the same number of games as Russia.