Spoils Shared In Oslo

Norway 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Norway and the Republic of Ireland played out a 1-1 draw on a rain-soaked surface in Oslo this evening. Robbie Keane gave the guests the lead at the end of the first half before Tore Reginiussen equalised for the hosts on the hour...

Giovanni Trapattoni will gain little pertinent knowledge after this outing for his Irish side except that defensive lapses have still to be overcome. On a sodden Ullevaal surface, his back-line contributed to their own misfortune with a number of glaring errors. John O'Shea was the guilty party in the first half before Kevin Kilbane stole his dubious thunder on the hour.

Martin Andresen's left-wing inswinging free-kick had cleared the danger zone before the Wigan left-back inexplicably headed across his own penalty area while Dean Kiely flapped. Tore Reginiussen was on hand to volley an equaliser from the closest of ranges.

Ireland had taken a first half lead through live-wire captain Robbie Keane, he capitialised on an absent Norwegian defence to race clear on goal and finish under the hapless goalkeeper, Jorstein to claim his 35th international goal.

Norway were under-par during the opening period, with Mohammad Abdellaoue their only attacking bright spark. The second half saw the hosts take the game to their guests and a physical battle ensued.

As the game wore on, the pitch became virtually unplayable and the two sides spent the latter part of the contest revisiting the tactics of Egil Olsen and Jack Charlton with long high balls.

Norway pressed for a late winner but it wasn't to be. All in all, a fair result.

First Half:

Norway were quickest out of the starting blocks and debutant Mohammad Abdellaoue could have given the host the lead after just 10 minutes. John Arne Riise played a ball over the top from the left, John O’Shea was sluggish but Abdellaoue’s prodded finish was too high.

Ireland were slow to settle but did manage to retain the ball well, Kevin Doyle broke through on the right wing and cut the ball back into the centre where Damien Duff was lurking with intent. However, a finish was unforthcoming.

Norway responded through the lively and impressive Abdellaoue shortly after. John O’Shea made a mess of John Arne Riise’s through ball and it fell to the young Valerenga attacker. However, Shay Given was equal to the test and Richard Dunne cleared.

Abdellaoue was Norway’s only genuine attacking threat, his clever front running gave a relatively deep Scandinavian outfit an outlet from which to lauch sporadic attacks.

Ireland gradually took control of the encounter, Steven Reid prvoided a good barrier in midfield while Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady began to look dangerous in attack.

Keane cut inside Reginiussen magnificently well just after the half hour and fired a strong shot which was repelled by Jarstein.

Damien Duff was next to try his luck for the Boys in Green, as the game opened up. Norway’s counter attacking game was counting for nothing and Duff broke strongly on the right.

No challenge was forthcoming on the Newcastle man, and his powerful drive was deflected over. Aiden McGeady fired the resultant breaking ball from the corner narrowly wide.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side worked the flanks well during the opening period, and they were rewarded with a deserved lead just before the interval.

Fredrik Stromstad was replaced by Kristian Haestad, and the substitution caused a fatal disruption to the Norwegian side.

A gaping hole appeared in the centre of the park and Robbie Keane raced clear to open the scoring. His left foot finish from six-yards, after turning Reginiussen inside out, squirmed under Jarstein to give Ireland the lead in the teeming rain.

Second Half:

Age Hareide fired-up his charges at the interval as the Norway that emerged for the second half presented a more robust and committed outfit than the one in the first.

Challenges were contested with a degree more bite as the Irish surrendered their comfort and supremacy.

On the hour, the hosts were deservedly level. Martin Andresen’s free kick was floated over from the left and caught replacement goalkeeper Dean Kiely under the flight of the ball. As the ball cleared the danger-zone, Wigan’s Kevin Kilbane was on hand to nod the ball across his own box to gift Tore Reginiussen his first international goal.

How Mr Trapattoni, the master of catenaccio, will take that shocking error is a no-brainer.

Robbie Keane was booked out of frustration shortly after; he was dubiously flagged offside and fired the ball into an empty net.

Norway turned the screw and enjoyed a dominant period of possession with Riise and Abdellaoue being particularly prominent. Morten Gamst Pedersen sent teenage hearts a-flutter with each touch of the ball.

As the rain turned the pitch to bog-water, the two teams put the ball to the sky. On a rare occasion that the ball touched the ground, John O’Shea almost put past Dean Kiely for a comical own goal.

The game petered out as both managers sought to protect their interests on the pitch. Not many talking points in the second half, but the performance of Mohammad Abdellaoue will give encouragements to the hosts.


Norway (4-4-2): Jarstein - Winsnes, Hangeland, Reginiussen, Riise - Andresen, Stromstad, Hogli, Abdellaoue (Grindheim 80’), Helstad (Nevland 57’), Fredheim Holm (Pedersen h/t)

Ireland (4-4-2): Given (Kiely h/t) - Finnan (Kelly 68’), Kilbane, O’Shea, Dunne - Whelan, S Reid, McGeady (Hunt 68’), Duff - Doyle (Murphy 65’), Keane



Reginiussen 60’


Keane 44’




Keane 62’


Mark Whitby

44′ [0 - 1] R. Keane

61′ [1 - 1] T. Reginiussen

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Spoils Shared In Oslo Reviewed by admin Ucop on 1:52 AM Rating: 5

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