RIED IM INNKREIS (VG) (Austria U-21 – Norway U-21 2-1) With the loss in the main match against Austria, the chances of the European Championship for Norway were exposed. But Croatia’s loss to Finland meant the evening didn’t turn completely black.
Norway’s 1-2 loss means a 3-1 win from the first leg in Drammen means Norway has Austria on a mutual settlement, which is important before the qualifying goal difference. Meanwhile, group leaders Croatia unexpectedly lost to Finland.
– It’s not that easy. Because it was a kind of chaos battle where a lot happened, but not a lot. It was a very difficult course and we didn’t play much. There was high shoulders, tension and a lot of disposition, summarizes national team manager Lev Gunnar Smirod to VG right after the match.
The table looks like this after tonight’s games:
Norwegian boys under 21 soon felt something to worry about at Keine Sorgen Arena – Translator Square do not worry – On the task leg.
Only 11 minutes were played when Romano Schmid found space in the penalty area. Werder Bremen’s shot is powerful, low and well-centered – and Christopher Claesson doesn’t stand a chance in the Norway cage.
Austria is seeded second in the Norway group and has proven to be a strong opponent. Matthäus Taferner had a dream chance to double the lead, but Klaesson stood in the way this time.
Already after 33 minutes, Smerod threw Eric Bothim. The club-less captain replaced Valringa winger Osam Sehrawi, and thus Norway instead formed a strong striker with Bothem, Rosenborg’s Noah Holm and Groningen’s Jürgen Strand-Larsen.
– It wasn’t quite an Osame match, it was a fencing match and a fighter match, so we wanted more strength and leadership from Erik. Smerod says it’s weird for Osam, but that’s what happens.
The same trio scored one goal each home match Against Austria, before the break, someone broke up: Holm played through the left edge, took the ball to 16 meters and put it safely in the far corner.
It’s something we’ve been doing all week, playing a little unusually on the left wing. I’ve worked a lot with Oppegård to get back where we are weak. Then I managed and there was a free doctor towards goal, so I drove the car and put it in the longest distance, Holm told VG.
The second half was barely in place before Norway’s concerns returned. Marks slipped completely from a corner kick, and Chikopwicky Adamo almost took Austria into the lead once again.
A little later, she hit the post of the home team, who was also close later with a shot into the net wall.
But Adamos’ goal was decisive against Norway, which she sometimes overpowered. Left-back Fredrik Oppegård had an excellent opportunity to equalize in the last minutes after Eric Bothem played him with an own goal. But Obgaard shot out from the 16-meter line.
Austria was desperate and had to move on, we knew we would get chances, but we had to fight back a lot. There are two types of tampons that keep us in the game for so long, Smerud tells VG.
After tonight’s loss, Austria passed Norway on the table, and are in the place that secures qualifications for the European Championship 2023. Croatia surprisingly lost to Finland, but retained the first place in the group. Norway is now one point behind Austria and four points behind Croatia, who are waiting for Marinellists at Drammen in June.
– There is something to take with you so that he does not run away. We’ll continue to meet them, so it’s going to be exciting, says Holm on a helping hand from Finland.
Norway’s under-21 team has not participated in the tournament since 2013. Under the leadership of Smerod, who was in his fourth qualifier as an under-21 coach, Norway has yet to reach the European Championship.
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