Norway have secured their place at UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ after securing a goalless draw in Russia.
Having lost 3-0 in Norway in their earlier Group 6 fixture, Russia needed to win by four goals to pip their rivals to automatic qualification and avoid the play-offs. Russia dominated the match, especially after the break, but never looked like getting the victory they needed against the 2005 runners-up and go into Monday's play-off draw, with the games on 25/26 and 29/30 October.
"It was good to ensure our ticket to the finals," said Norway coach Bjarne Berntsen, whose team had not dropped a point before today. "Again, we played a good defensive game. We have gone through the whole of qualification without conceding a goal. That is good."
Russia in play-offs
His team can now look forward to the finals draw on 18 November and will compete in Finland from 23 August-10 September next year. Russia, by contrast, can only join them by avoiding their fate at the hand of Finland in the 2005 play-offs, and coach Igor Shalimov said: "Unfortunately we didn't manage to automatically qualify for the finals, so now our goal is to concentrate on the play-offs."