17.11.2010 at 19:45 Aviva Stadium
Republic of Ireland
1 - 2
Referee: Kristinn Jakobsson (Iceland).
Shane Long (pen.) (5)
Morten Gamst Pedersen 34 mins;
Erik Huseklepp 86 mins;
Statto: Given makes record 109 appearance
Norway spoiled Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given's momentous night in Dublin as they ran out 2-1 winners.
Given, making a record 109th appearance for his country, was unable to prevent the Scandinavian opposition from claiming victory at the Aviva Stadium via goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen and Erik Huseklepp.
Ireland had earlier taken a fifth-minute lead when striker Shane Long stepped into Robbie Keane's shoes to win and then convert a penalty.
But the result means Giovanni Trapattoni's side are without a win from their last three matches and they end the calendar year with a disappointing defeat.
Norway arrived in Dublin sitting at the top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group with a 100 per cent record after three games and boasting a FIFA world ranking of 13, some 19 places above their hosts.
But while Trapattoni wanted to use the game to blood some of his emerging talents, he did not want to do so at the expense of a morale-boosting result ahead of the resumption of the qualifying campaign in March.
And the Italian could hardly have been more pleased with his side's start as Long made the breakthrough within five minutes.
John O'Shea, playing at centre-back on the night, strode past the halfway line after winning possession before releasing Long, who had too much pace in his locker for Norway captain Brede Hangeland and the burly defender could only wrestle the striker to the ground.
Icelandic referee Kristinn Jakobsson had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Long showed no uncertainty either as he coolly dispatched the spot-kick.
The Republic continued to dominate proceedings and nearly had a second seven minutes later as Damien Duff saw his shot cleared off the line after a wonderful ball from Liam Lawrence had the Norwegian rearguard in all sorts of trouble.
It was a positive, determined start from the hosts who have been criticised for being too negative under Trapattoni but the visitors gradually started to work their way into the game.
And Egil Olsen's men were presented with a promising opportunity 12 minutes before the break after putting together a flowing move.
Hangeland's pinpoint pass to Pedersen allowed him to lay the ball off for Thorstein Helstad, and Stephen Kelly handled as he attempted to halt the striker's progress 25 yards out.
Pedersen took charge of the resulting free-kick and curled a superb left-foot shot over the defensive wall and high to Given's right to level.
The home side were almost caught again two minutes before the break when Helstad found half a yard inside the penalty area, but he hit his shot straight at Given.
Both managers made two changes at the break with Trapattoni handing Stoke striker Jon Walters a senior international debut in place of Doyle, while Aiden McGeady came on for Lawrence.
And the latter thumped a 50th-minute shot into the midriff of defender Kjetil Waehler, but the action came at the other end seconds later.
Given did well to close down striker Huseklepp as he tried to lob him, but was back on his line by the time the same man fired in a stinging shot after the ball had been recycled to him.
Ireland were on top once again and McGeady fired just wide after the Norwegians only half-cleared a 63rd-minute free-kick to the edge of the box.
The match looked like it was heading for a draw with neither side going for broke, that was until the 86th minute as Huseklepp popped up with the winner.
From a defensive position, Norway sprung four passes together to cut open the Irish defence and Pedersen turned provider this time as he teed up the striker to tap home his fifth goal in international colours at the back post.