(March 3, 2010)
It was an unhappy Algarve Cup for the Norwegians. They started off with an incredible opening 20 minutes against #4 Sweden, scoring two quick goals. But just as they were unable to finish that game strongly, and ended up with only a draw, they were similarly unable to finish out the Cup strongly, losing their consolation match against #10 Denmark this morning by the score of 1-2.
Had Norway held on to the lead against Sweden ... had they held on to to the 1-1 draw against #1 USA instead of giving up an injury-time goal ... had they shutout #18 Iceland instead of allowing them to score twice - Norway could have been in a position to win the Algarve Cup instead of finishing 6th. All of which merely points out the mental toughness and defensive strength are necessary complements to offensive power.
Next up for Norway are World Cup Qualifiers at the end of the month (March 27 and 30) against Macedonia and Belarus.