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Finals
 
10 June 1998 Group A Montpellier - Stade de La Mosson
Morocco Norway
Morocco and Norway fought out a thrilling 2-2 draw in the Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, as a 35,000 crowd were treated to great entertainment. Two contrasting styles saw the powerfully direct Scandinavians up against the nippy intelligent North Africans with both outfits impressing. Norway's Solskjaer blazed over early on, but the game's star performer Mustapha Hadji opened the scoring for Morocco with a marvellous individual goal on 38 minutes. On the stroke of half-time an own goal by Youssef Chippo levelled the scoring, but Henri Michel's side deservedly restored their lead with a stunning strike from the live-wire Abdeljalil Hadda after 59 minutes. At this stage with the Moroccans in total control the Norwegians looked in danger of defeat for the first time in a 15-match run dating back to 1996. However, as so often happens after a goal is scored at one end, Egil Olsen's side hit back immediately with Dan Eggen taking advantage of the Africans aerial vulnerability to score from another set-piece. The equaliser appeared to knock the stuffing out of Morocco and it was Norway who finished the match the stronger and could have snatched victory but for a wonderful save by Benzekri from Harvard Flo. In the end a draw was probably the fair result, but both sides proved that they are well capable of progressing further in the competition with matches against Scotland and Brazil to come.

(1-0) Hadji (38). He raced clear onto Tahar's superb pass down the left channel and forged into the box to mesmerise Eggen with a superb piece of skill before firing home right-footed past Grodas into the bottom right-hand corner from ten yards.

(1-1) Chippo (45, og). Henning Berg beat 'keeper Benzekri to Rekdal's whipped free-kick from the left and Chippo in attempting to clear the goalbound header only succeeded in nodding the ball high into his own net.

(2-1) Hadda (59). He superbly controlled Tahar's lofted pass over the Norway defence and nudged the ball forward before smashing home a stunning right-footed volley across Grodas from ten yards.

(2-2) Eggen (61). Bjornebye's free-kick from the right was swung in left-footed with pace to the near post and when 'keeper Benzekri palmed weakly away, the big defender dived forward to head home the equaliser from a couple of yards.

 
 
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Page created by Christakis Ioannou on Thursday, 11 June 1998
 
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