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Norway vs Northern Ireland. UEFA Nations League Group B1.

Ullevaal Stadion.

Norway 1

  • S Dallas (67th minute own goal)

Northern Ireland 0

    Norway 1-0 Northern Ireland: Stuart Dallas own goal consigns visitors to another Nations League loss

    Match report and free highlights as Northern Ireland stay bottom of Group B1 after Stuart Dallas' own goal in Oslo

    preview image 3:25
    Highlights from the UEFA Nations League Group B1 match between Norway and Northern Ireland.

    Northern Ireland are still without a UEFA Nations League win after Stuart Dallas' own goal handed Norway a 1-0 victory in Oslo.

    Erling Haaland was denied twice in the first half by stand-in goalkeeper Trevor Carson while Josh Magennis squandered a glorious chance to break the deadlock when his close-range shot was saved by Andre Hansen.

    But Ian Baraclough's side, having defended resolutely, were finally undone by a set-piece in the 67th minute, with Martin Odegaard's corner striking the arm of substitute Dallas to find the net.

    The result leaves Northern Ireland on one point from their four games in this year's Nations League competition, while Norway move onto nine points in second place, level with leaders Austria who won 1-0 in Romania.

    Conor Washington gets an early shot away during an open first half
    Image: Conor Washington gets an early shot away during an open first half

    Player ratings

    Norway: Andre Hansen (6), Elabdellaoui (7), Strandberg (7), Ajer (6), Meling (6), Odegaard (8), Berge (6), Normann (6), Elyounoussi (6), King (7), Haaland (6).

    Subs: Linnes (n/a), Midtsjo (6), Henriksen (n/a), Sorloth (6).

    Northern Ireland: Carson (7), Ballard (9), J Evans (7), Flanagan (7), Smith (7), Thompson (6), C Evans (6), Saville (6), Ferguson (6), Magennis (6), Washington (6).

    Subs: McLaughlin (6), McNair (6), Davis (n/a), Dallas (5), Whyte (n/a).

    Man of the match: Dan Ballard.

    No rub of the green for Northern Ireland

    It was a seventh defeat in eight for Northern Ireland in this competition, keeping them bottom of League B1, though Ian Baraclough will take some encouragement from how some of his squad players stood up to a team that won 5-1 in Belfast last month.

    With focus already firmly on next month's Euro 2020 qualifying play-off final against Slovakia, that was arguably more important than the result here and there were positive signs from the likes of Daniel Ballard, Tom Flanagan and Michael Smith.

    While Northern Ireland were beating Bosnia and Herzegovina on penalties in their qualifying play-off semi-final last week, Norway saw their own hopes ended by a disappointing home defeat to Serbia.

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    But they got that out of their system as Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick in Sunday's 4-0 win over Romania and they threatened to pick up where they left off here. There were only 90 seconds on the clock when Haaland spun in the area and shot at goal.

    Northern Ireland's forward Conor Washington (L) and Norway's midfielder Martin Odegaard vie for the ball
    Image: Conor Washington and Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard vie for the ball

    Trevor Carson, who only came into the side when Bailey Peacock-Farrell was injured in the warm-up, got enough on it to slow the ball down before Flanagan hooked it off the line.

    It might have been the start of a Norwegian onslaught similar to the one seen at Windsor Park last month but instead Northern Ireland, who had emphasised the importance of starting strongly, were soon on the front foot.

    Team news

    Jonny Evans started his third competitive international in the space of a week but Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough otherwise made 10 changes for the Nations League match against Norway. They were forced into a late change as Bailey Peacock-Farrell suffered an injury in the warm-up with Trever Carson coming in.

    Norway included Erling Haaland, who scored two in their 5-1 win at Windsor Park last month and bagged a hat-trick against Romania on Sunday. The 20-year-old striker started alongside Bournemouth's Josh King, while Sheffield United's Sander Berge was in midfield.

    Conor Washington, impressive throughout the first half, broke through to force a save from Andre Hansen before Corry Evans fired over after a corner.

    Josh Magennis cut in from the break to shoot straight at the goalkeeper after one counter-attack, then passed up the best opportunity of the entire half in the 19th minute.

    Haaland's effort right on the stroke of half-time is straight at Trevor Carson
    Image: Erling Haaland's effort right on the stroke of half-time is straight at Trevor Carson

    Washington worked hard to dispossess Odegaard before slipping in his strike partner, who could not lift it over the goalkeeper.

    The game settled down after the early flurry, but Norway threatened again on the stroke of half-time as Haaland got free of Ballard but could not direct his header past Carson.

    Jonny Evans, the only player to have kept his place from both the Bosnia win and the Austria defeat, appeared to pull up late in the first half and handed the captain's armband to brother Corry as he was replaced by Conor McLaughlin at the break.

    Carson was busy again six minutes in as Odegaard fed Josh King, whose low shot forced the Motherwell goalkeeper to quickly get down to his left. Norway threatened once more just before the hour when a corner made it through to Stefan Strandberg at the far post but he could not keep his shot down.

    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: Haaland and his team-mates celebrate after Northern Ireland's own goal

    Dallas was sent on alongside Paddy McNair on the hour, but the Leeds man was then unfortunate to be caught out for the goal as Odegaard's corner struck his arm and span beyond Carson into the far corner.

    Northern Ireland struggled to muster a response, their best chance a Corry Evans shot from the edge of the area which went comfortably wide, but will look to pick out the positives before the showdown with Slovakia on November 12.

    Baraclough taking positives despite defeat

    preview image 3:58
    Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough said he was 'really pleased' with his side's performance despite a 1-0 defeat to Norway.

    Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough told Sky Sports: "I was really pleased with the performance as there were a lot of changes made and a lot of travelling has been done in the last seven or eight days. We've played a different system that we've worked on for just a couple of days.

    "We've thrown one or two kids in and losing your goalkeeper 20 minutes before kick-off doesn't help as well. But the lads started really positively and managed to create three or four chances. They had just the one in the early stages and our counter-attacking was good and incisive. On another night, we could've been a couple of goals up.

    "To lose a game from that sort of goal is even more disappointing but we kept at it. I thought the lads would've deserved something out of the game but it wasn't to be. The lads can still take a lot of positives. We go into November knowing we can play in two or three different ways and the players who have come in have given me a lot to think about [ahead of the Slovakia play-off]."

    Analysis: Lessons learned from Belfast beating

    Corry Evans slides in to dispossess Sander Berge in the Nations League clash
    Image: Corry Evans slides in to dispossess Sander Berge in the Nations League clash

    Former Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes told Sky Sports:

    "I thought from normal play we had a good shape. The 5-4-1 worked in our favour tonight with extra bodies around. Our full-backs were being exploited a bit in the first game at Windsor Park but we were much better this evening.

    "We had a lot more bodies around the ball. Odegaard's delivery from set pieces tonight was very good and it always felt that if they were going to nick something, it would be from that, and it proved to be the case.

    "It was put into an area with pace, and defensively it was a bit messy on our part. You always talk about getting the first contact at corners and they did which led to the deflection. It's harsh that it's a Stuart Dallas own goal as there was very little he could do about it."

    Carson: I was ready for last-minute change

    Trevor Carson was a late change after Bailey Peacock-Farrell's withdrawal
    Image: Trevor Carson was a late change after Bailey Peacock-Farrell's withdrawal

    Trevor Carson told Sky Sports: "It was all very last-minute as Bailey [Peacock-Farrell] was carrying as bit of a knock. I knew there was a chance so I was preparing all day for the worst. However much experience I have in the game, the news came in the last minute so it was important I was ready.

    "If they scored early it could've been a long night but the save gave me confidence and the lads were different class. We were hard to break down and just unfortunate to lose the goal the way we did. I didn't have much of a view for the goal.

    "As a whole, the lads put in a great effort. If you take the week as a whole, we've overcome the big one which was in Bosnia. Next month is another chance to get into the Euros and tonight showed that it's a squad game. You just don't know what's around the corner and it's important we have a competitive squad."

    Northern Ireland's unwanted record - Opta stats

    Striker Erling Haaland holds the ball up for a Norway attack in Oslo
    Image: Haaland holds the ball from Corry Evans for a Norway attack in Oslo
    • Northern Ireland remain winless in all eight of their UEFA Nations League matches, losing seven of them (D1) - only Iceland and San Marino (both eight) have lost more in the competition.
    • Norway have only lost two of their last 19 international home games, winning 12 and drawing five.
    • Northern Ireland are winless in nine competitive matches (D3 L6), scoring just five goals in this run.
    • Northern Ireland fired in four shots on target against Norway, their most in a match without scoring since November 2017 versus Switzerland (five). However, all four of these on target attempts were in the opening 19 minutes of the match.
    • Stuart Dallas was the first player to score an own goal for Northern Ireland since Chris Brunt in October 2017 - which also came away to Norway, in a World Cup qualifier.

    What's next?

    Northern Ireland host Slovakia in their crucial European Qualifying play-off final on November 12, live on Sky Sports; kick-off is at 7.45pm. Ian Baraclough's side then resume their Nations League campaign three days later away to Austria, also live on Sky Sports.

    Norway have back-to-back away Nations League games next month, with the visit to Romania on November 15 preceding their trip to Austria three days later. Both games kick-off at 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports.

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