- Norway – Northern Ireland 1-0 (0-0)
ULLEVAAL (Dagbladet): Northern Ireland was no throwing ball at Ullevaal, but an own goal by Stuart Dallas ensured that Norway escaped the horror. A corner from Martin Ødegaard in the direction of Stefan Strandberg, ensured that the ball went via Dallas and into goal.
Now it is Austria and Norway who are currently fighting for the group victory in the Nations League.
– Yes it was not so much more, but we win and that is the most important thing, but it is far from good enough I think, says Ødegaard to TV 2.
– It was boring today, but we won. Now the focus must be on the next, and it is beautiful with three points, says Erling Braut Haaland.
Today’s match was completely different from the one we saw in Northern Ireland. That time it was a convincing 5-1 victory. Today it was rather tight.
– It might have been a little tougher than I had thought, but we had expected them to be low with players. They defend well. We play a little too elaborately all the time. It got a little better in the second half. We had the ball a lot, but it does not help. The most important thing is three points, and we took that, says Lagerbäck at the press conference after the match.
He agrees with Ødegaard that it was not good enough tonight.
– It was a bit too elaborate in attack. There were some handball games left, which we have talked about after previous matches as well. We must dare to play and get more movement, says Lagerbäck.
At the press conference after the match, Dagbladet asked the national team manager about what condition Ødegaard is now in, before he is sent to Madrid
– He was good in the previous match, but he struggled like the rest of the team. We found no rhythm and did not get to the game I had at least hoped for. It was difficult for the whole team, says Lagerbäck to Dagbladet.
Stefan Strandberg and Ødegaard were initially involved in a situation where a ball loss led to a great chance for Northern Ireland. It was the strangest moment of the match after 19 minutes.
Strandberg led the ball forward, but then Ødegaard came in from the side and had to take the ball further. Zero communication led to the loss of the ball and ended with a counterattack to Northern Ireland. Jordan Thompson found Josh Magennis, but André Hansen kept up with a brilliant save.
– What do you think about the situation with him and Stefan Strandberg?
– Not good, Lagerbäck answers.
– It was a misunderstanding, you have to interpret it as. This should preferably not occur at this level. He misses a chance, because you misunderstand each other.
Northern Ireland coach Ian Baraclough made ten changes from the previous match. Only Johnny Evans started last against Austria.
Lars Lagerbäck, for his part, made two changes, where Joshua King and André Hansen got the chance to start. Rune Almenning Jarstein and Alexander Sørloth.
From the very first minute, the Norwegians were screwed. Ødegaard tipped a perfect pass to Haaland in the back room. His finish went via the keeper and just not over the line.
– If we get it, we get the upper hand early. I do not know if it was rescue on the line or what it was, but it was a shame. After that, I think we are too passive and we let them be in the fight, and we can not create the big thing. It is a weak match, I think, says Ødegaard.
After ten minutes played, maybe some Norwegians got their hearts in their throats. Haaland was down for counting after getting an elbow in the head. He was in so much pain that we could hear his scream at Ullevaal.
Fortunately, he finally got to his feet, and continued the fight.
But even though Norway had the biggest chance, Northern Ireland was definitely there. With just 20 minutes played, André Hansen had to leave the pitch due to a knee injury.
But it was Norway who had the most ball after a while, and there was a lot of tripling of the ball outside Northern Ireland’s penalty area.
Just before the break, Haaland got a gigantic chance. It was Birger Meling who hit a perfect ball on his forehead, but the Dortmund star failed to get enough pressure in the header. Thus, the teams went into the break with 0-0.
Joshua King was to stand for the first chance in the second half. Ødegaard hit a great ball to King, but the striker’s finish was saved by Northern Ireland’s goalkeeper.
A few minutes later Stefan Strandberg got a good opportunity after a corner, but his shot flew over goal.
67 minutes into the game, Ødegaard had a great chance to put his team ahead, but his kick hit the post. The ball went via Strandberg, then into the body of Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas and into goal.