The EC qualifying match between Norway J19 and England J19 was not televised or decisive for Norway, however hero especially for players.
Just ask Norway goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen.
He is in place at the European Championships where Norway meets the host nation on Monday night. Earlier in the championships, she met England captain Leah Williamson off the court.
– He said, “There’s something familiar about you.” And then I answered: “Yes, is that punishment possible?” And there you have it, Mikalsen told NRK and laughed.
Mikalsen scored for the J19s in 2015. Norway were leading 2-1 when England were awarded a penalty six minutes into extra time.
Then, when an English player ran too early into the penalty area, the referee awarded an indirect free kick to Norway instead of taking another penalty. This rule had been changed a few years earlier, but the judges stood by their stance.
Then the English Football Association (FA) sent a complaint to UEFA.
– There are many uncertainties. They filed a complaint but we don’t think it will happen at the J19 level. But then it happened. Then it was very strange, said Mikalsen.
Thus the game had to restart in the 96th minute – five days later. This Thursday, Norway was scheduled to meet Northern Ireland earlier in the day.
Norway beat Northern Ireland, went back to the hotel, ate and headed out again for another “match”.
The penalty kick and the next 40 seconds must be completed.
– It’s weird when the warm-up takes longer than the match. But we prepared in balance and had a plan for what was to come, says Karina Sævik.
Mikalsen remembers how he analyzed all of England’s potential penalty takers before. After warming up, he lined up at the finish line. It was again Leah Williamson who stepped forward.
– How to start a match with a penalty kick?
– It’s ridiculous after playing 90 minutes earlier in the day, then warming up for half an hour and then playing 40 seconds. That’s so weird. That is something in and of itself, says Mikalsen.
Mikalsen chose the right corner, but Williamson’s penalty just slipped past the keeper’s fingers. England thus equalized at 2-2, and 40 seconds ended without a scoring chance against Norway.
English girls run around the pitch with their arms up: score means England qualify for EC.
Since Norway beat Northern Ireland earlier in the day, Norway had to lose to lose its second European Championship spot.
Thus, it also ended well for Mikalsen. Without being seduced by repetition.
– No, and I hope I never have to do that again. I wish the level of referees was higher, said the Norwegian goalkeeper with a smile.
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