Despite playing against 10 men for almost half the match, England's youngsters were held to a 2-2 draw by their Norwegian counterparts in last night's Under-21 international friendly in Stavanger.
The Norwegians lost Steinar Pedersen, sent off only two minutes after the interval, and until that point the home side had been in control with England struggling to get their game together. Norway went ahead a goal from highly-rated striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 41st minute. The Molde player, who is attracting the attention of English scouts, produced a classic finish, the speed of his shot giving England keeper David Watson no chance as the ball tore into the right-hand corner.
Andy Roberts had wasted England's best chance of the first half, but Tottenham's Sol Campbell found the net in the 62nd minute, shrugging off four tackles before equalising with a fierce shot. Huddersfield's Andy Booth put England ahead with a close-range strike in the 77th minute.
However, a spectacular goal from Andreas Lund brought Norway level three minutes from time.
NORWAY UNDER-21: Ulla (Eik); S Pedersen (Start), K Pedersen (Odd), Lundekvam (Brann), Hai Ngoc Tran (Kongsvinger), Iversen (Rosenborg Trondheim), Larsen (Stabaek), Hestad, Rudi, Solskjaer (all Molde), Lund (Start). Substitutes: Mikalsen (Bodo/Glimt) for Solskjaer, 50; Fuglestad (Viking Stavanger) for Lundvekam, 57; K O Fjortoft (Hodd) for Larsen, 73; Heggem (Rosenborg) for Iverson, 89; Bjorkan (Bodo/Glimt) for Lund, 89.
ENGLAND UNDER-21: D Watson (Barnsley); S Watson (Newcastle), Gordon (Crystal Palace), Pearce (Blackburn), Campbell (Tottenham), Unsworth (Everton), Roberts (Crystal Palace), Pollock (Middlesbrough), Shipperley (Southampton), Booth (Huddersfield), Joachim (Leicester). Substitutes: P Neville (Manchester Utd) for S Watson, 65; Bowyer (Charlton) for Campbell 65; Holland (Newcastle) for Pollock, 65; Dichio (Queen's Park Rangers) for Booth, 88.
Referee: K Fisker (Denmark).
n Uefa, European football's governing body, yesterday banned Bolton's Alan Thompson for four international matches, following his dismissal in the European Under-21 Championship defeat in Portugal last month.Reuse content