Fulham’s Bjorn Helge Riise put in an impressive performance as Norway blew open the race for second place in Group 6 with a thumping 4-0 win over Scotland last night.
The game, which Scotland really couldn’t afford to lose to keep themselves in control of their own World Cup destiny, was fairly even for the first half an hour. Two bookings in a minute saw Gary Caldwell rather harshly sent off for two fouls on John Carew. John Arne Riise, himself somewhat fortunate to still be on the field after throwing himself into two dangerous tackles, opened the scoring from the resultant free-kick – his powerful shot thudding off Scott Brown and flying into the net.
Scotland’s task was made even more difficult by the concession of a goal just before half time. A sweeping Norway move culminated in a clever ball from Bjorn Helge Riise finding Morten Gamst Pedersen who picked his spot from around ten yards out. Erik Huseklepp made it three before Pedersen scored his second with a lovely strike in the dying stages of the game.
Riise was substituted with six minutes left, whilst Brede Hangeland played the full ninety minutes.