Fulham’s Brede Hangeland played the full ninety minutes as Norway slipped to a surprise defeat to 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in an entertaining friendly this afternoon.
The South Africans made a bright start and were rewarded with an early goal. Bernard Parker put them in front after an untidy scramble in the Norway area – his toe-poke was enough to beat Jon Knudsen from close range.
Egil Olsen’s side levelled matters midway through the first half with a brilliant free-kick from Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen that temporarily silenced a boisterous crowd, who had whipped up a carnival atmosphere inside the packed Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
The South Africans had the majority of the ball but Norway wasted a couple of glorious chances on the counter attack. It looked set to end as a draw until substitute Siphiwe Tshabalala drove a fierce shot into the top corner from fully thirty yards a minute into injury time. Olsen only opted to make two changes so there was no opportunity for Fulham striker Erik Nevland to make an impact.
Hangeland will captain his country again on Wednesday against his Fulham team-mate Toni Kallio as Norway host Finland in another friendly in Oslo.