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Wednesday, 14 June, 2000, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Spirit is key for Norway
Eric Mykland
Mykland says Norway's spirit stood them in good stead
Midfielder Erik Mykland claims Norway's team spirit helped account for much-fancied Spain in their opening match of Euro 2000.

Panathinaikos midfielder Mykland, 28, epitomised the attitude of the Norwegians in their 1-0 victory with his determination and drive.

He said: "We have big names in this team who play for some of the world's best teams and some who are less famous, but when we come together for the national side we are all equal.



This is a big victory for a small nation

Norway coach Nils Johan Semb
"Tore Andre Flo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are two of the biggest names in world football, but they don't behave any differently to anyone else in the side, and that is something special.

"We have a wonderful spirit and we play as a very solid unit making it difficult for teams to break us down - we are hard to play against."

Contrasting styles

The game brought together two contrasting footballing styles, but it was Norway's more direct approach that secured the three points.

The decisive moment came in the second-half when Spanish keeper Francisco Molina was beaten to a long ball by Tottenham striker Steffen Iversen who nodded home the winner.


Comacho
Comacho believes Spain dominated
However Spanish coach Jose Camacho said: "It's no use blaming Molina. This sort of thing can happen to anyone."

He added: "We dominated, but luck was not with us. On the other hand it was with Norway who are a very disciplined and experienced team."

Norwegian coach Nils Johan Semb was overwhelmed by the result against one of the tournament favourites in his country's first-ever appearance in the finals of the European Championship.

He said: "This is a big victory for a small nation. I am very proud of our team and I am glad that we showed the world that we can play football.

"We will enjoy the moment, but we know that this victory means nothing unless we qualify from the group and we have a very difficult game coming up against Yugoslavia."

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See also:

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