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Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 19:36 GMT 20:36 UK
Semb hails Spanish upset
Steffen Iversen
Steffen Iversen celebrates his winner
Norwegian coach Nils Johan Semb has revealed he always thought his team would cause an upset by beating Spain.

The Scandinavians made the perfect start to their Euro 2000 campaign by winning the opening fixture in Group C thanks to a second-half goal from Steffen Iversen.

Semb said: "Everyone was expecting a Spanish victory but we believed that we could win all along."

Spurs striker Iversen sent a looping header bouncing into an empty net on 65 minutes after Spanish goalkeeper Jose Francisco Molina made an error of judgement.

It was an example of the direct soccer which Norway used to embarrass Spain, whose passing game created nice patterns in the Feyenoord Stadium but little danger in a tepid game.


Eric Mykland
Mykland blocks Mendieta
Asked to compare the victory to Norway's most famous success, an upset 2-1 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup, Semb said: "Both were fantastic performances.

"Spain are one of the best teams in the world. We must rejoice at this victory."

Despite the defeat, Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho was confident his side could still make the quarter-finals.

"I'm not worried about it at all because we were creating chances, we were trying to shoot at goal," he said.

"I've told the players that with this attitude I think we can win our two remaining games."



I've told the players that with this attitude I think we can win our two remaining games

Jose Antonio Camacho

Praising Norway's style of play, he said the ball just would not go into the back of the net for Spain.

"They were very disciplined," said Camacho. "They worked hard, they shut us down and they made it very difficult for us to pick up the decisive passes.

"I don't think it was a question of not having any attacking players.

"We had a lot of goal scorers in our line-up and it's just one of those things. When the ball doesn't want to go in, there's nothing you can do about it.


Jose Antonio Camacho
Camacho: still optimistic
"If we had scored a goal I think it could have been a great game but the ball just wouldn't go in."

Camacho was unhappy with Egyptian referee Gamal El Ghandour, the first African to take control of a European Championship game.

"I thought the referee had a bad game," said Camacho. "He didn't meet the criteria that we have seen in other matches and I'm not sure he has the class to referee at this level."

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See also:

13 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Steffen stuns Spaniards
13 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Spain v Norway clockwatch
13 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Norway v Spain in pictures
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