Portugal’s difficult start to their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign continued as they fell to defeat against Norway in Oslo tonight.
The Portuguese were held to a 4-4 draw with Cyprus in their Group H opener and were unable to respond after Erik Huseklepp gave the hosts a 21st-minute lead at the Ullevaal Stadion tonight, leaving them languishing in fourth place in the pool.
Denmark also won by a 1-0 scoreline at home to Iceland in the night’s other Group H match, an injury-time goal from Thomas Kahlenberg securing the three points.
Two second-half goals from Karim Benzema and Florent Malouda earned France some relief from their recent woes as they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 in Group D.
France entered the game under intense pressure to secure a result after they followed their disastrous World Cup with a 1-0 home defeat to Belarus in their first qualifier on Friday.
New coach Laurent Blanc looked like he would have to wait longer for his first competitive win as time ticked down, however, before Karim Benzema scored the after 72 minutes.
Malouda sealed the victory six minutes later when he stroked home a second.
Elsewhere in Group D, Albania won 1-0 against Luxembourg and Belarus held Romania to a goalless draw.
Miroslav Klose scored twice as Germany thrashed Azerbaijan 6-1 in their meeting in Cologne.
Heiko Westermann, Lukas Podolski and Holger Badstuber also found the net in the German rout, while Rashad Sadygov’s own goal added to the visitors’ misery.
Turkey won a thriller 3-2 at home to 10-man Belgium as Arda Turan scored a later winner in Istanbul and Austria defeated Kazakhstan 2-0 in the other Group A game.
Russia suffered a shock 1-0 Group B home defeat to Slovakia in Moscow’s Lokomotiv Stadium as Miroslav Stoch grabbed the only goal of the night.
The Republic of Ireland were 3-1 winners over Andorra in Dublin and Macedonia were held 2-2 by Armenia.
Nikola Zigic scored with four minutes remaining as Serbia drew 1-1 against Slovenia, who had led their Group C encounter through Milivoje Novakovic’s 63rd-minute strike.
Italy cruised to a 5-0 win over Faroe Islands as five different players got on the scoresheet.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Sweden sunk San Marino 6-0 in Group E.
Schalke’s new signing Klaas Jan Huntelaar netted two first-half goals as Holland beat Finland 2-1, Mikael Forssell replying from the penalty spot after the break, while Hungary won 2-1 against Moldova in the night’s other Group E encounter.
In Group F, Croatia were held 0-0 at home by Greece, Latvia won 2-0 in Malta and Israel remain unbeaten after securing the same result in Georgia.
England top Group G after winning 3-1 in Switzerland and Montenegro followed up their 1-0 win over Wales with the same scoreline away to Bulgaria.
An injury-time winner by Stephen McManus saw Scotland beat Liechtenstein 2-1 and Lithuania recorded a shock 1-0 win away to Czech Republic in Group I.