– This must be the best feeling in the world. This is fantastic. It was a great setup around the game, and I’m very proud of the team we have. It’s completely raw, says national team coach Elise Brotangen soccer.no.
Team Norway got off to a bad start in qualifying with a 2-3 loss to Serbia, but bounced back with a 12-0 thrashing of Romania in their next match. Sweden’s one-goal win over Serbia saw Norway take to the field at Sandnes on Wednesday knowing that a win by two goals or more would mean a European Championship ticket.
The team got off to a good start when Strømsgodset striker Sesay was fouled by goalkeeper Mathilda Andersson and captain Signe Gaupset of Brann equalized 1-0 with a penalty kick before ten minutes.
Just before halftime, Sesay doubled the lead after being played by Avaldsnes Cille Nilsen’s players. Thus, the Norwegian margin is inside.
Safe to continue
Serbia made the expected goalscoring match against Romania, but it gradually became clear that they would not be able to match Norway’s 12-goal win, so Norway would also be group winners 2-1.
Sweden must score two goals to be ready to appear in the European Cup. The team put goalkeeper Maria Sandvik on several tries, but never got the ball in the net.
– It was very well done by the whole gang. We stood throughout the game and played as a team,” Gaupset told fotball.no.
– We dominated from the start as we have talked about. We have a clear battle plan that we implement almost completely. We get all the best when it comes to the most. “I was very impressed,” said Brotangen.
Serbia won 8-0 and finished second in the group, while Sweden dropped to third after winning their first two games.
Could be the World Cup
Norway have a few chances to increase the margin of victory further, but 2-0 will earn a place among the eight teams who will settle for a European Championship title in Bosnia-Herzegovina in May. Then there will also be a race for three tickets to this fall’s World Cup finals in India.
Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands and Germany are also ready for the European Championships, as are the host countries. The final group, in which Spain are favourites, will be decided later as Ukraine are among the participating teams.
Denmark only need to play one game to be ready for the European Cup (1-0 over Greece), having not included Russia and Belarus in their group.
The group draw for the playoffs will take place on April 5.
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