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23 June 1998 Group A Marseille - Stade Velodrome
Brazil Norway
Norway produced a miracle in Marseille as they sensationally defeated World Champions Brazil 2-1 in the Stade Velodrome to qualify for the last sixteen and break Moroccan hearts, after they had defeated Scotland 3-0 in St Etienne. A heroic team performance was led superbly by striker Tore Andre Flo whose magnificently taken 83rd-minute strike cancelled out Bebeto's header five minutes earlier, before Kjetil Rekdal fearlessly stepped up to score the last-minute penalty to send his side into dreamland. With Brazil having already qualified as group A winners they were expected to turn on the magic against a Norwegian side that had been far from impressive in their previous two matches and who needed an unlikely victory to send them into the second stage. Denilson was called into the starting line-up in place of the suspended Cesar Sampaio and there was an air of expectancy among the capacity 55,000 crowd, who had seen the Brazilians whet their appetites in glimpses in the earlier group matches against Scotland and Morocco especially. Norway came into the game on the back of a 16-match unbeaten run and they amazingly boasted an unbeaten record against the South Americans, having beaten them 4-2 a year ago and drawn their only other meeting. From the onset Egil Olsen's side set their stall out to make life difficult for the Brazilians, again playing Tore Andre Flo as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation, but looking to support the Chelsea man as quickly as possible with their direct style of football. The match was 11 minutes old before Brazil threatened when Roberto Carlos struck one of his amazing swerving 35-yard free-kicks that Froda Grodas was happy to puch clear for a corner. Although, in general the Norwegians were defending superbly, pulling men back behind the ball in two ranks and defying the Brazilians to attempt to break down their formidable barrier. Having settled comfortably into their stride it was Norway who began to take the game to Brazil and Leonhardsen screwed wide on 27 minutes, before Tore Andre Flo tested Taffarel with a screaming 20-yard volley straight at the 'keeper. Kjetil Rekdal then drove inches over the Brazilian crossbar after 34 minutes as for the first time the crowd began to sense that a possible shock was on the cards. Egil Olsen brought on Erik Mykland for Roar Strand at half-time as Norway were quicker out of the starting blocks after the break, much to the annoyance of the samba supporters who whistled and booed their team. On 56 minutes Brazil produced the best moment of the game so far when Roberto Carlos' inviting cross was met with a text-book downward header from the previously quiet Rivaldo but the goalbound header bounced into the turf and just over the Norwegian bar with Grodas beaten. With the match strategy going totally to plan, having kept out and frustrated the Brazilian attack, the Norway coach Olsen decided to play the next card in his hand on 68 minutes by throwing on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in place of Harvard Flo to play up alongside Tore Andre Flo. The substitute had been on the field barely a minute when he just failed to direct a header on target after further great work by Flo. Then Flo himself saw a towering header drift agonisingly beyond Taffarel's left-hand post with the 'keeper nowhere. However, the switch meant that the South Americans were afforded more space in the middle of the park and began to apply more pressure on the Scandinavian back four, in which Dan Eggen, Stig Inge Bjornebye, Ronny Johnsen and Henning Berg had been absolutely magnificent. Ronaldo for once broke free to send in a shot across the face of goal and then Denilson showed why Real Betis have forked out 23 million for his services when he crossed superbly for little Bebeto to head the champions into the lead on 78 minutes with his second goal of the Tournament and his fifth World Cup goal in total. Far from letting their heads drop, the goal spurred Norway into immediate action and Bjornebye's long pass up the inside left channel found Tor Andre Flo who held off the challenge of Junior Baiano to cut inside and rifle home a dramatic equaliser with seven minutes remaining. The goalscorer then saw a point-blank header saved at the far post and screwed a left-footer wide of the target before winning his side a climactic last-minute penalty after Junior Baiano was adjudged to have held him down in the area. Kjetil Rekdal courageously stepped up in the knowledge that his country's World Cup future rested on the outcome of his penalty-kick, but the midfielder showed admirable composure to fire home right-footed with Taffarel guessing correctly to his right. The result means that Norway qualify as runners-up in Group A and now play Italy, the winners of Group B, in the same Stade Velodrome, Marseille, that witnessed the biggest shock of France 98 so far.

(1-0) Bebeto (78). The previously quiet Denilson set off on a mazy run down the left and despite going to ground following a tackle from Eggen he leapt to his feet to round Berg before producing the perfect cross for the little striker to power a diving header past Grodas' right hand from four yards.

(1-1) Flo, T (83). Bjornebye's pass down the left channel sent the Norwegian striker galloping away with Junior Baiano in close attendance, and the striking Viking turned the big defender inside out before cutting inside onto his right foot to drill home a glorious shot across Taffarel from seven yards.

(1-2) Rekdal (88, pen). Junior Baiano was adjudged to have held down Tore Andre Flo following Mykland's cross from the right with the American referee pointing straight to the spot, and Kjetil Rekdal kept his nerve to fire home the resultant penalty right-footed just inside Taffarel's right-hand post with the 'keeper guessing correctly.

 
 
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