Ukraine beat Norway after all

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Egil “Drillo” Olsen, coach of Norway’s national soccer team, had to see his winning streak on home turf broken Wednesday, after losing 1-0 against Ukraine. Goalkeeper Jon Knudsen was so ashamed that he personally apologized to Olsen after the match.

“I should have beaten that ball back,” said Knudsen, after feeling responsible not only for losing the match but contributing to Olsen’s first  loss at Oslo’s Ullevaal Stadium since 1991.

The national soccer team had felt like they were enjoying a good run themselves, after a disappointing run-up to the World Cup that knocked them out of competition. Top player John Arne Riise, who plays professionally for Roma, had confidently thought the team had shed a losing streak, but it wasn’t so.

It seemed worse for the coach, who had led 34 national matches to victory since losing to the Czech Republic at Ullevaal on September 25 1991. Olsen claimed to take it in stride.

“We beat Montenegro (last weekend) but created more chances for goals (against Ukraine),” Olsen noted. “The first half was one of the best presentations we’ve had in my time as national coach. We were very good forward and back, unfortunately we fell out during the match.”

Now the squad can take a summer break, until a new round of national matches begins August 11 against France. The first European Cup qualifier is September 3 against Iceland, followed by another qualifier against Portugal September 7 and Cyprus on October 8.

Views and News staff