There are some games of football that you go into thinking something interesting may or may not happen, mainly due to the quality of both teams involved. Prior to the Norway vs Sweden game many fans were expecting a defensive battle between the two local rivals, and then once it was all said and done, those some fans were left with their jaws on the floor. Why? Because Norway and Sweden shared six goals in what can only be described as one of the best European Championship qualifiers of recent times.
The expectation was that they’d both be limited going forward and tight at the back, and whilst that didn’t wind up being the case, one thing that proved to be spot on was the physicality. There were tackles flying in from every possible direction, leading to seven yellow cards as the fans got rowdier and rowdier as the minutes ticked by.
Norway took the momentum of being in front of their home fans and used it to their advantage in the early stages, even rattling the bar of their opposition. Then, with just a few minutes remaining until half time, Josh King’s shot was blocked into the path of Bjoern Johnsen who put the home side into a controversial lead as it seemed like he may have been offside. That goal completely deflated Sweden for a while and with 15 minutes gone in the second half, King himself seemed to ice the result with a nice headed finish following a great move.
The last 20 minutes, however, proved to be some of the most electric and surprising that we’ve seen in international football for quite some time. Viktor Claesson scored from a rebound after Granqvist’s penalty was saved, before a deflected shot sent the visiting fans into a state of ecstasy as the ball flew past the keeper and into the back of the net.
Things went from bad to disastrous for Norway when Quaison scored what looked to be an injury time winner, completing an improbable and sensational comeback for the World Cup quarter finalists. As we all know, though, you’re most vulnerable when you’ve just scored, and they learned that the hard way when Kamara headed in a last second equaliser to blow the roof off of the arena.
Norway will have a few months to recover before hosting Romania in their next group game, whereas Sweden’s next qualifier will be against Malta.
Norway: Jarstein (5.5), Elabdellaoui (6), Nordtveit (5), Ajer (5), Aleesami (5.5), Odegaard (6), Selnaes (5.5), Henriksen (6), Elyounoussi (5.5), Johnsen (6.5), King (6.5), Kamara (7), Sorloth (N/A)
Sweden: Olsen (5.5), Krafth (6), Granqvist (6), Helander (5), Augustinsson (5.5), Larsson (5.5), Olsson (5.5), Ekdal (6), Claeeson (6), Berg (5.5), Quaison (6.5), Isak (6), Andersson (N/A), Svensson (N/A)
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi
Goals: Johnsen, King, Kamara :: Claesson, Nordtveit OG, Quaison
Yellow Cards: Nordtveit, Ajer, Selnaes, Johnsen, Helander, Olsson, Claesson
Red Cards: N/A
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