At the final whistle, several of the Alunorte Rain Forest players burst into tears before Coach Alberto Müller gathered his players for a small chat on the grass field and called their efforts impressive.
"There’s no reason to cry. Our team played well, were well organized and worked well together. We made some small mistakes and the opposing team played well, they managed to score and deserved to win," says Müller.
ARF had a number of great opportunities to score in the first half but were unable to convert fine play into goals. Vålerenga focused on their defense and had difficulties with their attack. In the second half, however, the Norwegian team managed to find some space on the sides and push the Brazilian defense. After 12 minutes Vålerenga were in the lead with two goals and a despite a score by ARF’s Kelson in the twentieth minute, the team from Oslo kept their lead until the end of the match.
More than football
Elena Brito, responsible for communication in Albras, says she is very proud of this year’s team who will spend the remaining time in Norway sightseeing before departure next Monday.
"We are very proud of the boys. They have received a lot of positive attention during their stay here in Oslo because of their warmth, good behavior and the joy they show. We have told them that their trip to Norway is about much more than participation in a sports competition. This is an experience for life, and life is also made of small setbacks that help you grow on a personal level, " says Brito.
Norway Cup is the world’s largest youth football tournament. Hydro and Alunorte have been sending teams to Norway Cup since 2001. The players are selected not only because of their skills on the football field; equally important are good behavior and participation and efforts at school.