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Clinical Norway breeze past Netherlands

Norway 3-0 Netherlands
Melissa Bjånesøy scored either side of Kristine Hegland's 39th-minute effort to secure Norway their first victory of the final tournament in Imola.

Norway's Melissa Bjånesøy is congratulated by team-mates after scoring her side's first goal
Norway's Melissa Bjånesøy is congratulated by team-mates after scoring her side's first goal ©Sportsfile

Norway bounced back from their opening defeat by Germany as they recorded their first victory of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship finals win against the Netherlands.

It took only six minutes for Melissa Bjånesøy to score her second goal of the tournament and captain Kristine Hegland beat Netherlands goalkeeper Laura du Ry when one on one shortly before half-time to give Norway a commanding lead. Bjånesøy then moved to the top of the scoring charts with the third goal after 57 minutes.

Norway made a good start as Hegland was brought down by Desiree van Lunteren after chasing an excellent chipped pass from Cathrine Dekkerhus with Bjånesøy then finding the top-right corner of du Ry's net. The Netherlands tried to respond as Tessel Middag's corner found Merel van Dongen, whose far-post header went just wide.

The greatest danger came from Nadia Coolen, whose numerous runs down the right wing wreacked havoc in the Norway defence. Coolen twice connected with Lieke Martens, who failed to find the target, before curling a left-footed effort after 32 minutes which Ane Fimreite saved well. Hegland was less profligate, though, scoring on 39 minutes from her first opportunity as she dispossessed van Lunteren just inside the box and curled the ball past du Ry in clinical fashion.

Half-time substitute Pia Rijsdijk's snap-shot from 16 metres bounced just wide as the Netherlands tried to storm back early in the second half but van Lunteren's difficult afternoon continued as a defensive slip led to Bjånesøy's second after 58 minutes, the Norway striker nudging the ball in as du Ry and Marissa Compier attempted to clear.

Fimreite was a reassuring presence in goal for Norway and Jarl Torske's side appeared more likely to extend their lead, du Ry having to scamper from her line to deny the youngest player at the tournament, Ada Hegerberg, and saving a late Dekkerhus effort. Norway will join Germany in the semi-finals if they draw against Spain in their final Group B contest.