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Norway solidity delights Pellerud, Quereda upbeat

Even Pellerud praised Norway's defensive strength after they reached the semi-finals at the expense of Spain, who pleased Ignacio Quereda with their progress in Sweden.

Norway solidity delights Pellerud, Quereda upbeat
Norway solidity delights Pellerud, Quereda upbeat ©UEFA.com

Even Pellerud, Norway coach
We played a convincing defensive game. It was hard for Spain to penetrate, almost impossible for them to get behind the back four. We hadn't planned to defend as deeply as that. We'd hoped to defend higher up the pitch, but early in the game we could see the Spanish players were too skilful for that and so we had to defend deeper. It worked well. There was good structure and discipline and it was hard for Spain to create any scoring opportunities.

We weren't at our best going forward. When we had the chance to pass well and attack, we had a poor touch and were caught in possession. Defensively we were almost completely successful; from an attacking point of view, there are things we need to improve on.

We tend to believe we can control everything, that you can just roll the ball out from the goalkeeper, play nice attacking football and score goals, but a lot of goals come from nothing or simply because you want to win one battle, then the second and the third. I'm pleased with our three goals, but our attacking play was not all that impressive.

This is a surreal experience for women footballers, to play at neutral grounds far away from Norway and Spain and get this kind of crowd. It's amazing, a new experience, and it looks like women's football is taking off. I'm happy and proud to be a part of it.

It looks like it's going to be four very strong teams in the semi-finals, which reflects the quality of the tournament, whether it be France or Denmark.

Ignacio Quereda, Spain coach
It was a strange game because the two first goals are normally ones that wouldn't go it. We went into the break trailing 2-0, a significant deficit, and though the team tried to react, they weren't able to.

The start of the game was really good, with clear domination, but the thing we lacked was to kill things off and score the first goal. The ball that went straight in for 1-0, and the own goal, sapped the team's morale. After the break we tried to bounce back and impose our philosophy, but the psychological level of the team was damaged and we weren't able to overcome it.

Overall, the tournament was very positive. It was the first time Spain were here in 16 years, with an inexperienced team and not familiar with this level of high competition, but the team fought till the end and we played great in the group stage against very tough sides.

Of course, we're not satisfied with having gone out in the quarter-finals, but it's the first step we've taken and I hope we'll do more. The squad is very young, we've brought in people from the Under-19s, and we have a promising future. Now there is a lot of work to do, to instill some experience in the team. We're very optimistic thinking about the future. The future is secure.