Football: The Global Game

World Cup Around the World
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NORWEGIANS YESTERDAY acclaimed their team's 2-1 World Cup victory over Brazil as one of the nation's greatest sporting feats.

"The miracle!" Norway's biggest selling daily Verdens Gang said in a headline over a picture of Kjetil Rekdal, the scorer of Norway's second goal from a disputed penalty in the 89th minute. "Now anything can happen."

"Thanks!" Dagbladet said in a one-word headline over a picture of Rekdal and other players.

The victory was all the sweeter for Norwegians, after their team had been criticised for an unimaginative kick-and-chase style following draws against Morocco and Scotland. One Swedish newspaper last week branded the team a "shame for the whole Nordic region". After Tuesday's game, Brazil's coach Mario Zagallo described Norway as "anti-football".

Verdens Gang said criticisms of Norwegian play "will continue. We've beaten them before and that didn't silence them. No one likes our long passes."

Meanwhile, there was pride in Morocco after their team's 3-0 win over Scotland, which was worthless thanks to Norway's win. Le Matin du Sahara declared: "Glory to the Lions of the Atlas - a penalty generously given three minutes from the end gives the advance to Norway over Brazil and deprives the National XI of a largely merited qualification [for the second round]."