Goal-machines Erling Braut Haaland and Alexander Sørloth both started the match and scored twice in Nations League game against Norther Ireland. The final score is 5 – 1 to Norway.
Lars Lagerbäck’s team fought back three days after the fiasco against Austria and are back in the battle for first place in their group thanks to effective football and five fantastic goals.
Mohamed Elyounoussi began the party, but the rest of the game was about the striker duo Haaland and Sørloth, with Joshua King on the bench. Haaland scored the Norway’s second goal, played forward by Sørloth and later assisted Sørloth’s two goals.
Sørloth was third last on the ball when Haaland put the ball in the goal. The 20-year-old is now up to three goals in the last two international matches.
Northern Ireland took points away against Romania with ten men against eleven on Friday, but had no chance against Norway with a full team. Norway gained a major dose of confidence ahead of there three October matches in Oslo, the first of which against Serbia, qualification for the European Championship.
Norway spent over an hour for their first attempt against Austria, but in this match they took the lead twice before seven minutes were played at Windsor Park. All three goals in the opening minutes came after long passes that the defenders handled poorly.
In the 2nd minute, Norway’s captain Stefan Johansen hit a long and precise play that found Mohamed Elyounoussi. The Celtic player controlled the ball on his chest and sent it into the corner before it hit the ground. Defensive player Michael Smith was relegated to spectator.
Norway gave up the perfect zero score when Daniel Ballard’s kick from deep in his own half went over Kristoffer Ajer and Even Hovland lost the duel against Conor Washington, who shoot on goal. Rune Almenning Jarstein (keeper) saved, but Paddy McNair was able to place the ball back into the empty net.
Ireland’s joy lasted only a few seconds. Omar Elabdellaoui hit a long play from the mid-line. Sørloth retrieved it against an opponent in the back and headed it forward. Via Ballard’s thigh, the ball ended up at Haaland, and the 20-year-old knocked it into the net from just under 20 meters away.
Northern Ireland national team manager Ian Baraclough chose to start with three men behind, but after three goals against in about 20 minutes, he pulled down Jordan Thompson as left back and hoped to close again with a traditional four.
Right after the break Norway goals again. Haaland played bounced the ball off of Johansen and ran into the back room. The sprint sent him alone against the goalkeeper, but the goal hunter chose to pass to Sørloth, who could easily make 4-1 in an empty goal.
A Sørloth flick and an Elabdellaoui header sent Haaland through again in the 58th minute, and Norway’s fifth finish between the posts hit the net.
Norway’s efficiency was brutal, and if Norway continues in this fashion in the October matches, it can be ecstasy in both the European Championship qualifier replay and the Nation’s league.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today