Two Premier League defenders switched up a 3-2 football victory for Norway in the last ten minutes against Iceland’s World Cup team.Alexander Sørloth scored the match winner.
Joshua King of Norway was on the subs bench for the first time in two and a half years, but came on and scored the equaliser when he stole the ball from the keeper and made the scor 2-2 after 80 minutes.
Sørloth was exchanged at the same time, and it was his giant shot five minutes later that gave Norway’s coach Lars Lagerbäck victory in his reunion with his old home ground.
‘’As ordered! This was awesome and I think we showed good morale on there. We see good width at the top, and I and Joshua talked as we warmed up,” Sørloth told TV 2.
Gylfi Sigurdsson seemed to be a match winner in his long-awaited comeback after injury when he so nearly reached the finish line 2-1 up on an unnecessary return from Rune A. Jarstein. Instead, two substitutes, who had been on the sidelines for several minutes, got the last word.
Ten minutes before the final whistle, keeper Frederik Schram tried to pull off King, who did not get fooled and tackle him. He brought the ball and hit it into an empty Icelandic goal mouth. Sørloth handed out the knockout goal five minutes later.
“This is tasty in several ways. I did not believe in five goals, but it was a steady match and it became a good test for us,’’ said national team coach,Lars Lagerbäck to TV 2.
The match started well for Norway, who took the lead with Bjørn Maars Johnsen’s first national team goal.
Iceland equalised with a penalty after half an hour, but Norway turned out to be the best team in the match against World Cup contenders Iceland.Stefan Johansen was close to giving Norway 2-1, but his shot from a distance after an hour crossed out.
Instead, Sigurdsson achieved a huge jubilee and got the mood to rise further when he tipped an unnecessary return from Jarstein, who failed to reach a loose shot from Birkir Bjarnason after 70 minutes.
“It was amazing that we came back and won,” said Lagerbäck.
‘’This is especially memorable. It’s hard to beat a team like Iceland away from home,’’ said the former Iceland coach.
In the mirror
The coaches had said that the match would look like a reflection in the mirror, and the two teams played aggressively throughout, making it difficult for each other. Norway was at the height of the duels on the pitch, but in Iceland’s box, it was difficult to get to the ball.
The exception was after a quarter of an hour, when Stefan Johansen fought the ball to Bjørn Maars Johnsen. This time the ball hit his foot,and was elegantly reversed around his opponent and knocked to the left leg.The keeper was away from the ball, and it fell under the crossbar.
In a sensational first run, the management substituted a quarter of an hour before Iceland scored the first and second goals of the match. Iceland’s left winger, Rúrik Gíslason got past Jonas Svensson and stormed in from the side.
Svensson dropped him and the penalty slammed in.
Alfred Finnbogason almost ran out, and Jarstein shot the ball in goal.
The game initially did not heat up the crowds at an unbelievable field in Reykjavik, but Lagerbäck saw things to look forward to with the very warm welcome he received at his old home ground.
With Sander Berge returning to the central midfield, another piece fell in place in Lagerbäck’s rebuilding of the national team, and Iver Fossum was a positive force at the edge in his first international match from the start. Kristoffer Ajer took a new step on his way to establishing himself as Norway’s Defence Chief.
The Icelanders came at him again and again. There was hard and disciplined work among all parts of the team.
Iceland got an early opportunity when Jarstein pulled out on a corner without reaching the ball, and Kári Árnason hit it straight.
Seconds later, Elyounoussi put the ball elegantly in the goal after playing it through, but he was offside and the jubilation was short-lived.
The home team celebrated when Stefan Johansen showed off his shot foot,and then the jubilation began when the star, Sigurdsson, came in. But at last, it was quiet.
Johnsen, King and Sørloth scored every goal, and Elyounoussi played well.In the back, Lagerbäck has a day-to-day relationship with Ola Kamara. Norway is currently well-tipped by the bookies.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today