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Victory for Norway ends Belgium's hopes

Norway 2-1 Belgium
The hosts go level with the Dutch atop Group A after goals from Marie Markussen and Synne Hansen eliminated Belgium.

Victory for Norway ends Belgium's hopes
Victory for Norway ends Belgium's hopes ©NFF

Goals from Marie Markussen and Synne Hansen earned victory for hosts Norway and ended Belgium's UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship hopes in the process. 

Hansen and Markussen give Norway two-goal lead
Michez responds with Belgium's first goal of finals
• Result ends Belgian hopes of reaching last four
Norway and Netherlands level at top of Group A

Markussen capped a bright start to the game when she broke the deadlock on 18 minutes and Norway kept pushing until just before the hour when Synne Hansen reacted first when Synne Jensen’s effort was parried. Lucinda Michez pulled one back and by the end the hosts were hanging on – but hang on they did.

Belgium needed a point to stay in the running for a semi-final spot but it was Norway who set the tone in a physical game, playing on the attack from the kick-off. Synne Hansen tested Justine Odeurs inside 30 seconds, the hosts' movement and through balls piercing the Belgium back line time and again. On 18 minutes they had their reward as Markussen found the net with a great shot from inside the box.

Markussen scores for Norway
Markussen scores for Norway©NFF

Though struggling to find their rhythm, Belgium twice went close before half-time through Elke Van Gorp and Lola Wajnblum. Yet as soon as they did start to secure a foothold, Norway made it 2-0. Van Gorp released Michez to halve the deficit five minutes later and there were chances to equalise as the game became stretched. Norway survived, extinguishing the Red Flames' semi-final hopes in the process.

Jarl Torske, Norway coach
We are very happy with a win against difficult opponents, and more so with how we performed today – we raised our level significantly from the Netherlands match. We are nice and compact in defence and win a lot of second balls. I'm especially pleased with the first half. We didn't have the same flow in second half and Belgium came back into the match, but I think we deserved the win. The players were desperate to win because they were so disappointed with their performance against the Netherlands.

Kristiaan Van Der Haegen, Belgium coach
In the first 10-15 minutes we were impressed by the physical power of Norway and their movement and ball circulation. We thought it would be very, very difficult when they scored first. The last 15 minutes of the first half were more balanced and we had a fantastic scoring opportunity just before half-time. At the break I told them: 'If you really believe in it we can come back into the game'. We started the second half well but we needed some luck as scoring is not one of our best qualities I'm proud of my players today because they worked hard and gave 100%.