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The BBC's Steve Wilson
"Why are so many so surprised?"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
Steffen stuns Spaniards
Steffen Iversen
Goalscorer Iversen is mobbed as Norway stun Spain
Spain 0-1 Norway
(Rotterdam - Att: 45,000)

Steffen Iversen sent group favourites Spain tumbling to defeat as Norway got their Euro 2000 campaign off to the perfect start.

The Spurs striker made the most of an error of judgment by Spanish goalkeeper Jose Francisco Molina to head home the only goal of the game midway through the second half.

The defeat dented Spain's hopes of finally shaking off their tag as "under-achievers" and heaped the pressure on coach Jose Antonio Camacho.

Jose Etxeberria almost got Spain side off to a flying start when he hit the woodwork after just nine minutes.

As the Norwegian defence backed off, the Athletic Bilbao midfielder let fly from 20 yards and saw his shot clip the top of the crossbar.


Steffen Iversen
Iversen rises above Molina
Three minutes later, Raul wriggled his way through only for his strike to deflect off a Norwegian defender for a corner.

Norway then came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

With 20 minutes on the clock, the Manchester United forward got on the end of a left-wing cross from Andre Bergdolmo only to see his glancing header come back off the bar.

Spain were rattled by that narrow escape but almost hit back with a goal.

Michel Salgado swung in a cross from the right and Ismael Urzaiz rose powerfully above Berg to get in a firm header.

It looked as though Thomas Myhre would be beaten, but the goalkeeper pulled off a smart save lowdown to his right, clutching the ball at the second attempt.

Raul then had two chances to settled Spain's nerves just before the break.

He forced Myhre into a another fine save before dragging a left-foot shot wide of the post as the Norwegian defence claimed offside.


Andre Bergdolmo
Bergdolmo holds off Raul
In injury time, Solskjaer brought the first meaningful save out of Molina when he hooked in a shot from eight yards.

Spain started a little brighter after half-time, dominating possession as Norway continued to defend in numbers.

But they couldn't find a way past Myhre

He failed to hold onto a fierce drive from Fran Gonzalez on 54 minutes but showed plenty of bravery in diving at the feet of Raul as the Real Madrid hot-shot looked to pounce.

Norway suffered a major blow just short of the hour mark when Berg limped off.

Stalemate

The Manchester United defender, who was replaced by Dan Eggen, looked to have suffered a recurrence of the hamstring strain which had hampered him in the build-up to this game.

But the loss of Berg was quickly forgotten on 65 minutes, when Iversen finally ended the stalemate.

As Molina came racing off his line in a bid to claim a hopeful punt forward, Iversen rose like a salmon to head the ball into an empty net.

Spain were handed a golden opportunity to equalise just four minutes later, when the referee awarded them a controversial free-kick inside the Norwegian penalty area.

But Fernando Hierro could only blaze his effort into the wall.


Tore Andre Flo
Flo loses out to Hierro
Substitute Gaizka Mendieta came close to levelling matters with 10 minutes left but was denied by Myhre, who blocked his shot at the near post.

Spain grew increasingly desperate as they went in search of an equaliser but failed to find a way through Norway's stubborn defence.


Spain: Molina, Salgado, Aranzabal, Guardiola, Hierro, Fran (Mendieta 72), Raul, Etxeberria (Alfonso 72), Paco, Urzaiz, Valeron (Helguera 80).

Norway: Myhre, Bergdolmo, Bragstad, Berg (Eggen 59), Mykland, Flo (Carew 70), Skammelsrud, Heggem, Iversen (Riseth 90), Bakke, Solskjaer.

Referee: G Ghandour (Egypt)

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See also:

13 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Spain v Norway clockwatch
13 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Semb hails Spanish upset
13 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Norway v Spain in pictures
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