Northern Ireland relegated from Nations League B after UEFA award Romania win over Norway

Norway were prevented from travelling after defender Omar Elabdellaoui tested positive for coronavirus; Romania move six points clear of Northern Ireland, ahead of Wednesday's final group game between the two sides

Northern Ireland
Image: Northern Ireland have been relegated from Nations League B after finishing bottom of group B1

Northern Ireland have been relegated from Nations League B after a UEFA panel awarded Romania a 3-0 win for the cancelled game against Norway.

Norway were prevented from travelling after defender Omar Elabdellaoui tested positive for coronavirus. The Norwegian FA has five days to appeal the decision and is yet to decide if it will do so.

The result means Romania move six points clear of Northern Ireland, ahead of Wednesday's final group game between the two sides.

Ian Baraclough's side have lost four of their five Nations League games so far in this campaign, picking up their only point in a 1-1 draw away at Romania in their opening game.

Nations League Group B1

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Austria 5 +3 12
Norway 5 +5 9
Romania 5 -1 7
Northern Ireland 5 -7 1

Norway, who are three points behind group leaders Austria, have called up a completely new squad to fulfil Wednesday's fixture between the two.

The outcome of the game in Vienna will determine which nation is promoted to League A, with the team of uncapped foreign-based Norwegians needing to win by any scoreline other than 1-0 to finish top on head-to-head away goals.

Norway's forward Erling Braut Haaland and his teammates celebrate after an own goal by Northern Ireland during the UEFA Nations League football match Norway v Northern Ireland in Oslo, Norway, on October 14, 2020. (Photo by Orn E. BORGEN / NTB / AFP) (Photo by ORN E. BORGEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Norway have been forced to name a completely changed squad for Wednesday's game against Austria

Romania, who cannot top the group, must win in Belfast to have a chance of being seeded in Pot 2 in the World Cup qualifying draw.

The Nations League has not proved a happy hunting ground for Northern Ireland, having finished bottom of their group and without a single point in its first maiden campaign in 2018.

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Northern Ireland were denied a second consecutive appearance at a European Championships with their extra-time defeat to Slovakia
Image: Northern Ireland were denied a second consecutive appearance at a European Championships with their extra-time defeat to Slovakia last week

They were spared relegation on that occasion following a competition revamp, which saw groups expanded from three teams to four.

Relegation adds to a terrible week for Northern Ireland after they missed out on Euro 2020 qualification with last Thursday's 2-1 extra-time defeat to Slovakia in the play-off final.

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