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

chances.

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

2-1.”

Lineups:

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

Stavrou, 81)