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2023 UEFA Euro U19: Norway and Spain qualify for semi finals following stalemate

Daniel Bassi of Norway in action against Iván Fresneda of Spain during the UEFA European Under-19 Championship
Daniel Bassi of Norway in action against Iván Fresneda of Spain during the UEFA European Under-19 Championship [Sportsfile]

Norway held Spain to a 0-0 draw meaning both sides will reach the semi-finals of the UEFA U19 Championship.

The Spaniards dominated possession but neither side managed to find a breakthrough in a relatively uneventful 90 minutes of football.

Spain entered the game at the top of group B following a 5-0 victory over Greece and had already qualified for the semi-final, while Norway drew 1-1 with Iceland, leaving them in second and in need of just a point to go through.

Aleix Garrido should have put Spain ahead after seven minutes when the ball dropped to him in the area, but his first-time strike flew off target.

Four minutes later, Norway created their first chance of the game as Benjamin Thoresen Faraas’ attempted an acrobatic effort but was unable to test the goalkeeper.

Spain continued to put Norway under pressure as Assane Diao caught sight of the goal, dragging his effort beyond the far post after a quarter of an hour.

The game became scrappy as it headed towards halftime with both sides struggling to create clear cut chances.

Spain started the second half with a flurry of half chances as the ball bounced around in the area and eventually dropped to substitute Iván Fresneda, who skewed his effort wide.

Just before the hour mark, Álex Valle called Magnus Rugland Ree into action with a low strike at goal but the Norwegian’s firm hand kept the score level.

The Spanish enjoyed plenty of possession throughout and at times toyed with Norway, showcasing some excellent ball movement as they head for the semi-finals.

Ilias Akhomach displayed some tricky footwork and worked his way into the area, but his shot was deflected over the bar with eight minutes to go as Norway seemed to settle for the point.

Moments later a David Jiménez cross found Gonzalo García who headed the ball straight at Rugland Ree as Norway continued to hang on.

The stalemate meant both sides would make the semi-finals with Spain as group B champions and Norway as runners-up.

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