Norway have advanced to the final of the Women’s Euro after beating Denmark in a penalty shoot out. The Norwegians are to face title holders Germany in the final in the Swedish city of Solna on Sunday.
The Norwegians converted four of their spot kicks, compared to just two for the Danes, after the two sides had played to a 1-1 draw through extra time in their semifinal, in front of 9,260 spectators in Norrkopping on Thursday evening.
Norway had held the lead through much of the 90 minutes of regulation time after defender Marit Christensen provided the finish off a corner to give her team the advantage in just the third minute of play.
Denmark forced extra time just moments before the final whistle, when Mariann Knudsen headed home the equalizer in the 87th minute.
"We are just delighted. Now we have a tough game ahead of us. Germany is a great team," Norway's captain, Ingvild Stensland said.
Given their dominance of European women's football over the past couple of decades, Germany will be seen by many as the clear favorites going into Sunday's final.
This will be Germany's eighth appearance in the final since they beat Norway in the 1989 final at home in Osnabrück 4-1. Germany also beat Norway in their two other final encounters in 1991 and 2005.
Despite this historical advantage, Germany can be expected to go into Sunday's match with a healthy respect for their opponents, having dropped a 1-0 decision to the Norwegians in the last match of the group stage of this year's tournament.
Germany will also go into the final with an extra day's rest, having secured their place in the final with a hard-fought 1-0 win against the hosts, Sweden, on Wednesday evening.
pfd/ch (dpa, sid)