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By ESPN Staff

Solskjaer to start on bench in midweek qualifier

OSLO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored twice for Norway in their 4-1 win over Hungary on Saturday, will start Wednesday's European Championship qualifier against Moldova on the bench, coach Aage Hareide said.

Frode Johnsen will start in Solskjaer's place, Hareide said, stoking criticism from Norwegian media who believe the country's best player has been sacrificed to appease his powerful club side.

Hareide justified the move by the fact that Solskjaer, 33, was only beginning his return to international football from a knee injury that kept him sidelined for nearly two years.

'Ole Gunnar played a good game against Hungary but he has to be used sensibly after his long injury, and so he won't be starting against Moldova,' Hareide said in an interview on the Norwegian Football association's website.

'It would have been medically unacceptable (to start him).'

Norway beat Hungary 4-1 on Saturday to make a winning start in Group C alongside Bosnia and Greece, who also won their openers.

Hareide upset Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson by even naming Solskjaer for his squad for this month's qualifiers so soon after his recovery. Solskjaer has not played a full game for his club since his return.