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Norway find a way to beat Scotland

Scotland U17s 0

Norway U17s 1

M.O Haugen 75

Norway breached Scotland’s defence with fifteen minutes to play at Oriam on Saturday, helping them to a 1-0 victory that keeps their hopes of qualifying for the Women’s U17s European Finals in Bulgaria alive. The scoreline, and scrambled nature of the goal, were a fair reflection of a game the visitor’s edged but will give Scotland some heart.

Prior to kick-off the Norwegian fans and players were in good voice, and their team started the game with the majority of possession. Their formation, with wingers Oda Amland Edvartsen and Laura Gashi right on the touchlines, forced disciplined shuffling defence from the Scots, and an early injection of pace from Edvartsen foreshadowed a future danger. Nonetheless, the early exchanges did not produce any shots.

When an effort did come, on 18 minutes, it was from Scotland. A bundling run by Kate Nicolson ended with possession at the feet of Kathleen McGovern, who hit not overly high and wide of the top right corner. Norway’s response was positive. A beautiful lofted pass from the centre circle by Mille Aune isolated Edvartsen against fullback Philippa McCallum, and when the cross arrived both Siri Oline Berg-Johansen and Joshualyn Favour Revees had slipped their markers. The latter volleyed wide.

Yet by the middle of the half Scotland had fully grown into the game. A Nicholson free kick from distance dipped a little too late, and another free kick - an inswinger from the right by McCallum - could have caused serious consternation if Nicolson had been able to make stronger contact. The Norwegians were beginning to lose a little shape, but still offered glimpses of danger. A great covering challenge by Chloe Warrington was required to end a swift break devised by Gashi and Berg-Johansen.

As the second half began, it was immediately evident the key word from Norway’s half-time talk was intensity. Malene Oland Haugen and Mille Dalen were added to the fray, and coach Børje Sørensen became animated, dishing out bilingual instructions that promoted upping pace and closing down. The ball was moved forward quicker, frequently in the direction of Edvartsen as she became a painful thorn in Scotland’s left side.

The pressure grew, but in corners and crosses rather than shots. Indeed, as in the opening period, it was Scotland who had the first effort: Monica Forsyth did more than offer a release valve when she jinked forward from halfway and shot just over in the 54th minute. But 60 seconds later Malene Haugen was equally close after two team mates had swings blocked.

The hosts’ fullbacks were already having to work extremely hard. In a final tactical manoeuvre, Norway withdrew centre-forward Berg-Johansen and pushed Revees and Malene Haugen on to Scotland’s defenders. The idea was to force quick clearances that midfielders Emilie Marie Joramo and Dalen could win and recycle.

It paid near-immediate dividends. In the 75th minute captain Andrea Sivertsen Broholm was able to strike an effort which was deflected wide left, and Revees duly swung the corner to the edge of the six yard box. In the melee a boot prodded the ball goalwards, stopped by a player close to the line. The referee deemed it over, and Norway celebrated. The Norwegian fans believed the scorer was Thea Loennecken. The officials gave it to Malene Haugen. Either way, the team were ahead.

The match’s death throws saw McCallum hit a free kick a metre over and Malene Haugen thrillingly run outside the entire defence from halfway but hit softly at Yates. An injury time red card for McGovern didn’t help the host’s chances, delivered for two unnecessary yellows, and moments later the full time whistle ended matters. The Scandinavians now face a winner-takes-all battle with Group 4 powerhouse Germany on Tuesday, while Scotland will finish their tournament against Ireland.


Scotland U17s
Norway U17s
1. Alicia Yates
2. Chloe Warrington
3. Philippa McCallum
5. Robyn McCafferty (c)
6. Laura McCartney (Smith 55)
7. Monica Forsyth
8. Rebecca McAllister
9. Kathleen McGovern
16. Kate Nicolson (Shore 62)
17. Bayley Hutchinson (McFadden 82)
20. Carly Girasoli
12. Aaliyah-Jay Meach
4. Paige McAllister
10. Hannah Scott
11. Eve McFadden
13. Hannah Cunningham
14. Eilidh Shore
15. Jennifer Smith
18. Rose McQuillan
19. Freya Macdonald
1. Margaux Batt Lægreid
2. Andrea Sivertsen Broholm (c)
3. Nora Marie Egenes
4. Helena Broch
6. Mille Aune (Dalen 46)
8. Laura Gashi (M. Haugen 46)
9. Siri Oline Berg-Johansen (Loennecken 72)
10. Joshualyn Favour Revees
16. Emilie Marie Joramo
17. Oda Amland Edvartsen
20. Victoria Thorp Haugen
12. Sunniva Skoglund
5. Thale Listerud
7. Thea Loennecken
11. Gina Øgegaard
13. Ingrid Lovise Jåstad
14. Anette Snørteland Jensen
15. Hanna Rake Ellingsen
18. Malene Oland Haugen
19. Mille Dalen
Star Player
Scotland U17s
Norway U17s
Carly Girasoli: Glasgow City’s Girasoli was the stoutest rock in Scotland’s defensive wall. Her first half display required frequent movement forward to meet balls - both in the air and on the ground - while the second was deeper tackles and headers. The centre back combination with captain Robyn McCafferty was excellent throughout.
Oda Amland Edvartsen: There were early indicators that Edvartsen was going to cause Scotland trouble on the right wing, but the second half was when the damage was truly done. Norway actively sought out the flanks, particularly Edvartsen’s, and with Broholm in support the team was able to repeatedly move possession from halfway to the edge of Scotland’s box.
Magic Moment
Scotland U17s
Norway U17s
A backheel nutmeg by Rebecca McAllister in the first half was cute, but the award for Scotland’s best moment goes to Monica Forsyth’s run from halfway ten minutes into the second. Receiving a clearance without much potential or support, she flicked the ball outside her marker and started advancing. 25 yards out it was time to cut inside a covering centre back, and the final shot was not far over.
The late Malene Haugen run, in which she simply ran outside the entire defence, was dynamic. Yet a better team movement occurred much earlier, in the 52nd minute. Victoria Thorp Haugen strode out of defence, played a swift one-two with full back Broholm, and then laid the ball out to Edvartsen who began running at her full back. The move only resulted in a corner, but was impressive for the speed a passing interchange turned casual possession into an attacking threat.

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