Nervy Norway pip Scotland to second spot

OSLO - Norway secured second place in Group Nine and put themselves in with a chance of a play-off spot for the 2010 World Cup when they beat Macedonia 2-1 at home in their final group game on Wednesday.

Scotland's 1-0 defeat by the Netherlands, who were already assured of qualification as group winners, handed Norway their opportunity and they took it with a slightly nervy victory.

Early goals from Thorstein Helstad and John Arne Riise set Norway on their way and they held on despite Boban Grncarov's goal with a little over 10 minutes to go.

With the group completed, and Norway finishing in second place with 10 points and a superior goal difference to Scotland, they must now wait to see if they are one of the eight best second-place teams that go into the two-legged playoffs.

That will only become clear once the groups made up of six teams have completed their matches.