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FOOTBALL

Norway beaten as Spain reach U21 final

Defending champions Spain clinched a 3-0 victory over Norway in the semi-finals of the UEFA under-21 championship on Saturday, securing themselves a place in the next week's final.

A late first-half goal by Benfica's Rodrigo put the reigning champions ahead, with two more driven home by Isco and Alvaro Morata just minutes before the final whistle, despite a brave showing by Norway.

Spain will now face either Italy or the Netherlands in the final on Tuesday.

After a frustrating first half with "La Furia Roja" taking 11 shots at the Norwegian goal without result, Rodrigo neatly turned around a corner to put the ball in the back of the net after a last-minute corner in injury time.

The Spaniards pressed hard again in the second half but had to wait until the last moments before Isco drove home their second in the 87th minute into the top left-hand corner of the net after being set up by Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata who was brought on during the second half.

And true to form, top tournament scorer Morata blasted home the third from a tight angle in the second minute of injury time to seal a well-deserved victory.

Julen Lopetegui's men have been unbeaten in 25 matches at under 21-level, winning 22 and drawing three.

Italy and the Netherlands play in Petah Tikva later Saturday.

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FOOTBALL

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland want to jointly host the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2027.

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup
Sweden players during this year's World Cup in France. Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The five Nordic nations want to share hosting duties for the 2027 edition of the World Cup finals and are to present the idea to the Nordic Council at a meeting in Stockholm on Tuesday, Danish football association DBU has confirmed.

FIFA is already positively disposed to joint bids for future finals tournaments, which has lent encouragement to the Nordic project, according to DBU's chairman Jesper Møller.

“We can see that support for women's football is here to stay, most recently at the (2019) World Cup in France, where matches were played in front of full stadiums and television viewers' interest was huge,” Møller said.

“A joint Nordic World Cup would not only ensure a fantastic experience for many football fans but will also strengthen important Nordic partnerships and community, and hopefully inspire many football-keen women and girls,” he continued.

“That's why support from the Nordic Council is important,” he added.

The Nordic Council (Nordisk Råd) is the official body for inter-parliamentary co-operation among the five Nordic countries and three territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.

DBU is also looking into the possibility of hosting the 2025 European Championships in Denmark.

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