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Engman swoops as Finland end Norway hopes

Finland 1-0 Norway
Moments of inspiration at either end from Adelina Engman and Vera Varis left Finland on the brink of the semis as Norway bow out.

Engman swoops as Finland end Norway hopes
Engman swoops as Finland end Norway hopes ©UEFA.com

Adelina Engman headed in a late winner as Finland moved to the brink of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals at Norway's expense.

Marianne Miettinen's side were on the back foot for large tranches at the Parc y Scarlets but delivered a sucker punch 12 minutes from time. Right-back Emma Koivisto was the instigator, surging forward before delivering an exquisite cross for Engman to glance in. It means Finland need a point against Group B leaders Germany on Sunday to join them in the last four; Norway are out.

Norway may wonder how. They went into the game chastened by Monday's 5-0 thrashing by Germany, yet there were few signs of early doubt, of any loss of faith. They bit into tackles, harassed their opponents and drove forward in threatening formation – showing mettle appropriate to a stadium that backs onto a steelworks.

Skipper Guto Reiten was their driving force, continuously chipping away at the Finland defence after setting the tone with a stinging third-minute effort that Vera Varis did well to keep out at full-stretch. It was the first of seven first-half saves for the goalkeeper as Norway tried to force the issue, her iron gloves proving an impermeable last line of defence.

At the other end, Finland were posing Norway few problems but Jarl Torske's teams were at times guilty of causing a few themselves with slips and lax passing. One soon after the restart so nearly proved fatal as keeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand, one of three new faces in the side, misjudged an Iina Salmi cross, diverting it against the post before recovering just in time.

At the other end Andrea Thun finally beat Varis – but not the upright – midway through the second half with a looping header following a corner. Chances became a rarity and 0-0 almost a certainty – until Engman popped up.

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