Norway see off Scandic rivals in Euro 2013 semi-final
Norway will face Germany in the Final of the UEFA Women's European Championship after winning a tense penalty shoot-out against Scandinavian rivals Denmark in their semi-final.
It had seemed that Norway would progress to the Final without drama as Marit Christensen gave them an early lead but Mariann Knudsen equalised with just three minutes to go.
Denmark would have been many pundits' favourites to progress to the Final, having beaten France on penalties in the quarter-finals – and they could have made it through to face Germany without having won a game in the entire tournament, having finished with just two points in the Group Stage.
But Norwegian goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelsmeth was the hero, saving penalties from Line Roddik and Theresa Nielsen as Trine Ronning sealed victory as she made it 4-2 with just one penalty remaining.
And this was a game that sparked into life late on as Norway sat back after taking the lead when Christensen bundled a corner from Ingvild Stensland into the back of the net.
Having started so well and taken the lead, Norway seemed unsure whether to push home their advantage or sit back and defend and they were almost made to pay when the dangerous Ada Hegerberg turned smartly and smashed a shot against the crossbar from outside the area.
Knudsen then sidefooted wide from a fine position, but Norway responded as Caroline Hansen was played clean through, only to be denied by Stina Petersen.
Elise Thorsnes also fired wide for Norway, and Stensland was incredibly unlucky as her precise, curling shot drifted just wide of the far post.
And she was made to pay for that miss when Knudsen rose highest to head home after Maren Mjelde had accidentally nodded a free-kick back across her own goal.
Extra-time was an entertaining affair as both teams committed to attack, but they could not be seperated before the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
And Norway will look to end Germany's run of five successive victories in the tournament – and they will be boosted by the fact that they have already beaten their opponents in the Group Stages of the competition.