History of the Norway national football team From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Norway had their most successful period from 1990 to 1998 under the legendary coach Egil "Drillo" Olsen. Together with a rising quality in Norwegian players, Olsen is given much of the credit for taking Norway's national team from obscurity and turning them into a dreaded opponent, respected around the world. At its height in the mid-90s the team was even ranked second on the FIFA World Rankings. Olsen started his training career with Norway with a 6–1 home victory against Cameroon on 31 October 1990 and ended it on 27 June 1998 after a 0–1 defeat against Italy in the second stage of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
In the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Norway was knocked out at the group stage after a win against Mexico, a defeat against Italy and a draw against the Republic of Ireland. In France 1998, Norway was eliminated by Italy in the first round of the knock out stage after finishing second in their group, having drawn against Morocco and Scotland and won 2–1 against Brazil. During the 1994 World Cup tournament Norway received some criticism, claiming their somewhat defensive tactics ruined the fun of the game.
The former under-21 coach Nils Johan Semb replaced Olsen after the planned retirement of the latter, but did not manage to achieve the same results as Olsen. He was replaced by Rosenborg coach Åge Hareide at the end of 2003.
Some of Norway's best single results are: Norway–Brazil 2–1 on 23 June 1998 in the World Cup group stage, and Norway–Brazil 4–2 on 30 May 1997. In fact, Norway is the only team in the world who has played Brazil and never lost, winning two matches and drawing on two other occasions.