Wales 1 Norway 1

Saturday, 7 October 2000, 0:01
2 mins read

55,000 + turned up for this key World Cup Qualifier, the streets of Cardiff were buzzing literally with the sale of these bloody irritating horns, I bet there’s gonna be a few in the bin tonight with parent’s fed up with their kids blowing them.

The game started slowly for Wales with most of the possesion being commanded by Norway. Wales were content to play the long ball out to target men Blake and Hartson. Hartson took a while to warm up and looked worse for wear considering he’s missed most of the season so far.

Wales’ defensive frailities were easy to see early on as ball after ball was missed by the woeful Melville and Page. Each time the ball was crossed in you feared for the worst. Man Utd’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Spurs’ Steffen Iversen looked out of sorts however and rarely got in the game and that was our saving grace.

Wales were the 2nd best team until 5 mins to half time, when we were unlucky not to take the lead. After some great work by Giggs down the right saw him stride down the touchline and whip a great cross in for Hartson who headed the ball into the net, but a marginal offside decision, kept the teams deadlocked at Half-Time. Up until this moment Wales and the crowd seemed very nervous, and there was little atmosphere, but the opportunity lifted everyones spirits and started some songs going.

HT

Wales started to turn it up a gear second half. Robinson & Savage decided they were going to take it to the Norwegian midfield, winning ball after ball forcing the Norwegians to foul on many occasions.

On 65 mins Wales finally turned the pressure into a goal. Speed was put through into space in the left corner avoiding the offside trap, he then sent a great cross splitting Johnsen and Berg for Blake to complete with a tidy header.

The crowd really started to buzz now with mexican waves, and the team responded with some good play, exploiting the Norwegian defence who had to push moire forward. Giggs a copuple of time broke free and ran straight sown the throat of the defence, but his final ball was lacking every time.

Our dodgy defence was starting to grow cocky though passing the ball around when really they should have been knocking the ball up the park. This led to our downfallon 80 mins, Flo who was brought on just before our goal, forced an excellent save from close quarters from Jones, but his pary left the goal open and their other sub Helstad forced the ball in with some brave challegning. Helstad flew headlong into the post and seemed concussed, but got up to continue the game moments later.

Now there was only one team who could win it, Norway were starting to capitolise on our defesive frailties and were making us bite our nails. Sparky brought on Iwan Roberts for the knackered Hartson, but it was all to no-avail.

1. Jones

2.Delaney 4.Page. 5.Melville. 3.Coleman

7.Robinson 10.Speed 6.Savage 11.Giggs

9.Blake 8.Hartson

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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