Norway beats Cyprus 3-1, misses out on Euro 2012
Norway’s 3-1 victory over Cyprus on Tuesday wasn’t enough as it
failed to qualify for next year’s European Championship after
finishing third in Group H.
Denmark’s 2-1 victory over Portugal ensured it finished atop the
group, with the Portuguese claiming second place and a playoff spot
for next year’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Portugal and Norway finished tied with 16 points, but the
Portuguese will advance due to a better goal difference.
Knowing they needed a rash of goals to advance in lieu of
Portugal, the Norwegian club was on the offensive during much of
the game at the Ullevaal Stadion. But Cypriot goaltender Tasos
Kissos performed well to stop several of Norway’s best scoring
Still, Morten Gamst Pedersen managed to put the Norwegians ahead
after 25 minutes by heading in Espen Ruud’s corner kick.
John Carew doubled Norway’s lead nine minutes later.
Ioannis Okkas scored Cyprus’ lone goal before the half, while
Tom Hogli scored his first goal for Norway in the 65th.
”We were good during the first half-hour until 2-0,” Norway
coach Egil Olsen told Norwegian TV2. ”But we’re not satisfied with
the second half.”
Okkas’ goal dampened local hopes of catching Portugal, which
finished with six more goals scored than the Norwegians. Goal
difference turned out to be the tiebreaker after the teams split
their two games by identical 1-0 results.
”If we had led by three goals at the break, the idea could have
occurred to me that we could make it,” Olsen said, ”but not at
Norway: Rune A. Jarstein, Tom Hoegli, Kjetil Waehler, Vadim
Demidov, John Arne Riise, Espen Ruud (Simen Brenne, 63), Alexander
Tettey (Ruben Yttergaard Jenssen, 82), Christian Grindheim, Morten
Gamst Pedersen (Jonathan Parr, 46), Erik Huseklepp, John Carew.
Cyprus: Tasos Kissas, Jason Demetriou, Georgios Merkis, Georgos
Pelagia (Stelios Parpas, 6), Elias Kharalambous, Marinos Satsias,
Sinisa Dobrasinovic, Anthos Solomou, Konstantinos Kharalambides
(Dimitris Khristofi, 62), Andreas Avraam, Ioannis Okkas (Andreas