Northern Ireland – Norway 2-0. Lars Lagerbäck had a nightmare start as manager for Norway’s football team in Sunday’s game against Northern Ireland. The Swede takes the responsibility after a shock start.
Lagerbäck hardly had time to find his place on the Norwegian bench before the first goal for Northern Ireland was made, and the ball was in the net behind goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.
One minute and 28 minutes was all it took before Jamie Ward dribbled Even Hovland and curled the ball into Jarstein’s right corner.
– I did not cheer the start. We know what the first goal means in a football game, Lagerbäck said at the press conference after the 0-2 defeat to Northern Ireland.
– But we should be able to get up in the ropes again. It was not the goal that made us passive and played bad passes. I have a big responsibility there.
There was no winning team on the pitch in the first half but we improved a lot in the second half, although we did not create enough chances, Norway’s new Manager continued.
Alexander Søderlund showed formidable technique for Norway right after the leading goal, but unfortunately for Lagerbäck the ball hit the crossbar junction and went out of play.
A few minutes later, Conor Washington was granted a free passage through the Norwegian defence. With defenders left behind him the QPR player had a free shot for 2-0.
– Northern Ireland makes it difficult for us. We were not good in the first half but did better in the second. But it was not the best of games by us, Lagerbäck understated.
Norway has failed in the last eight qualifiers and has not reached a championship since the European Championships in 2000. Now real Lagerbäck magic is required to get to the World Cup finals in Russia next year.
– Realistically our chances are minimal. We will play to create a winning team, but we naturally need a longer-term perspective on the whole thing, the Swede concludes.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today