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Carew double sparks Norway upset over Argentina

sports Updated: Aug 23, 2007 05:09 IST

Striker John Carew's double fired Norway to a surprise 2-1 win over Argentina in a friendly on Wednesday.

Carew netted the opener on 12 minutes from the penalty spot after defender John Arne Riise had been fouled.

The big frontman caused the South Americans plenty of problems and he almost struck again when he dribbled past three defenders into Argentina's penalty area only to have his shot blocked.

Argentina pressed after the break but, against the run of play, Carew added a second in the 58th minute when he deftly headed in a free-kick taken by Riise.

"Carew looked fitter and sharper than he has in a long time," Norway coach Aage Hareide said. "We were very disciplined defensively, Carew and (forward) Daniel Braaten showed their pace and their physical strength and we played well as a team."

Argentina, playing their first match since a traumatic 3-0 defeat by arch-rivals Brazil in the Copa America final last month, were without playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme and defender Gabriel Heinze.

With forward Lionel Messi well-shackled by Norway's defence, it wasn't until six minutes from time when Argentina pulled a goal back through Maximiliano Rodriguez.

"Norway were phenomenal in the air -- Carew won the game over us," Argentina coach Alfio Basile told reporters.

He said Argentina used the friendly to try out players ahead of World Cup qualifications, which kick off later this year.

"We are on our way to build a team before the World Cup qualifiers and we weren't going specifically for results. That's not important right now," Basile said.

Norway have sprung back from a dreadful start to their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and are in a three-way tie for second in Group C behind leaders Greece.