Spain eliminates Haaland’s Norway | Soccer | Sports
Glasgow is very far from Oslo. Another planet. An unfathomable distance between the Spain that left Hampden Park in March and left Luis de la Fuente’s project shivering in the second corner, to the one that closed the qualification for next year’s Euro Cup in Germany at the Ullevaal stadium with authority, in a party governed from start to finish, and a month in advance. They still have two games left to play in November, against Georgia and Cyprus. It only remains up in the air if she will be first in the group. De la Fuente claimed his second major goal, after the Nations League in June, and left the next summer tournament without one of the great figures of world football. Erling Haaland will not play in his third major championship, after having been left out of the Euro 2021 and the 2022 World Cup.
Ørjan Haskjold Nyland, Julian Ryerson, Strandberg (Vassbakk, min. 77), Birger Meling, Leo Østigård, Aursnes (Kristian Thorstvedt, min. 77), Oscar Bobb, Berge, Odegaard, Patrick Berg (Antonio Nusa, min. 58) y Erling Braut Haaland
Unai Simón, Fran Garcia, Laporte, Le Normand (David García, min. 45), Dani Carvajal, Gavi (O. Sancet, min. 78), Fabián, Rodrigo, Ferrán Torres (Alfonso Pedraza, min. 71), Morata ( Joselu, min. 89) and Ansu Fati (Oyarzabal, min. 45)
Goals 0-1 min. 48: Gavi.
Referee Tobias Stieler
Yellow cards Le Normand (min. 29), Oscar Bobb (min. 30), Julian Ryerson (min. 39), Laporte (min. 56), Morata (min. 61) y Rodrigo (min. 85)
Norway appeared distressed. Only a victory extended their hopes of seeing themselves in Germany. And with them, the most devastating gunner in Europe. Haaland precisely appeared as the key for his team to move forward. In a match in which Spain hid the ball and controlled the timing, its options appeared in those few seconds that elapsed between when La Roja lost sight of the ball and the moment when it managed to recover it.
The concentration in that stretch of the game was very intense. Spain launched a recovery, with Rodri sweeping the middle, while Norway looked forward to Haaland. The City striker dropped, chased by Laporte, or Le Normand, or both. If he touched the ball, panic would break out. He left her behind and turned at a gallop. The growing intensity of the Ullevaal’s murmur marked its approach to Unai Simón. The pair of central defenders emerged victorious in many of those attempts, but the Norwegian’s sneaks increased the risk, and Le Normand was only able to solve one with a tackle that cost him a card.
Solbakken’s team had another version of this attack, Nyland’s goal kicks, always long, always towards Haaland, always under the surveillance of Laporte and Le Normand. Maximum tension.
The rest of the time, almost all of it, was spent with Spain, an already very strong team, attacking a fort. This time, on the wings were Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati, a starter with the national team three years after the last time, now on loan at Brighton where he has accumulated spells and two starts in the Europa League. He was inaccurate in his controls and passes, and uninspired in his dribbling. At half-time he was replaced by Oyarzabal, who created a chance in the first race.
Spain only found channels on the outside, or trying shots from outside the area, which narrowly missed Carvajal and Rodri, once again superb in direction. The first big scare that Norway suffered began with a pass from Carvajal to a break from Ansu in the center. Strandberg extended her leg as he stepped back and sent the ball into the net. When he was already entering, Morata pushed her. That was going to be his 35th goal, which placed him as the team’s fourth all-time top scorer, tied with David Silva. But the VAR determined that Ansu was offside and the Atlético striker remained fifth in the standings.
The video referee control room had a busy night. When Spain took the lead again, La Roja’s joy was put on hold. Up to two possible offsides had to be explored. Ferran’s shot crashed into Morata. The rebound fell to Gavi, who scored, but the captain was stranded in the path. The VAR threw lines, explored frames, and the stadium became impatient. After three minutes of busy draughtsmanship, the stands began to whistle.
Norway was even further away from Germany 2024, already two goals away, and Solbakken turned to what he had left: Sorloth and the destabilizing Nusa. The Bruges winger shook his left wing a little and his team seemed to regain their pulse minimally, but it was just two blinks.
Spain, bossy, solid, had the game in its grasp. De la Fuente, so questioned in Glasgow, scored another achievement in Oslo, where Haaland found himself in the gutter again.
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