Northern Ireland suffered a bruising 5-1 Nations League defeat by Norway in manager Ian Baraclough’s first home game in charge.
A frantic start saw Paddy McNair equalise Mohamed Elyounoussi’s second-minute opener before the the visitors took control at Windsor Park.
The impressive Erling Haaland scored with two excellent strikes, while Alexander Sorloth also netted a double.
NI drew 1-1 with Romania in their first match in the competition on Friday.
After the euphoria of Gavin Whyte’s late equaliser which earned a point in Bucharest after Josh Magennis had been sent off, this loss was a chastening experience for the squad.
The only positive was captain Steven Davis equalling Pat Jennings’ all-time appearance record of 119 matches, but the Rangers man will be in no mood for celebrations after he and his team-mates were outclassed.
Three-one down after 19 minutes thanks to goals from Elyounoussi, Haaland and Sorloth, that scoreline remained unchanged until half-time before another quickfire double from Haaland and Sorloth soon after the break took the game away from a hapless home side.
Haaland too good as Norwegians outclass toothless NI
Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland is one of the most talked about prospects in world football and he showed exactly why with a dominating performance against the home back four in which Daniel Ballard was winning only his second cap.
Norway opened the scoring in the second minute when Stefan Johansen’s clipped cross evaded Michael Smith at the far post and the unmarked Elyounoussi had time to control on his chest and volley home an angled finish.
The lead only last six minutes as Ballard played a searching ball over the top for Conor Washington. The striker ran on to it and when his shot was parried by goalkeeper Rune Jarstein, McNair was on hand to score the rebound.
A minute later the visitors were in front again when the impressive Haaland ran on to an Sorloth’s knock down to lash home an outstanding left-foot shot on the half-volley from outside the box.
It was 3-1 on 19 minutes when Haitam Aleesami’s left-wing cross was met on the volley at the far post by Sorloth and he made it four two minutes after the break after being set-up by the unselfish Haaland who had outmuscled Cathcart.
The Dortmund youngster displayed his class once again by giving Peacock-Farrell no chance with a curling left-foot finish into the top corner.
More to follow.
- 4BallardBooked at 36minsSubstituted forBoyceat 45′minutes
- 20CathcartBooked at 69mins
- 6SavilleSubstituted forEvansat 71′minutes
- 16WashingtonSubstituted forLaveryat 77′minutes
- 14ElabdellaouiSubstituted forSvenssonat 79′minutes
- 2AleesamiSubstituted forMelingat 78′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 8JohansenSubstituted forKingat 71′minutes
- 13Løvseth Rossbach
- Bartosz Frankowski
Match ends, Northern Ireland 1, Norway 5.
Second Half ends, Northern Ireland 1, Norway 5.
Birger Meling (Norway) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Birger Meling (Norway).
Attempt blocked. Alexander Sørloth (Norway) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Erling Haaland.
Corry Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Markus Henriksen (Norway).
Attempt blocked. Patrick McNair (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Birger Meling.
Shane Ferguson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alexander Sørloth (Norway).
Foul by Liam Boyce (Northern Ireland).
Jonas Svensson (Norway) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Jordan Thompson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Birger Meling (Norway).
Attempt saved. Mathias Normann (Norway) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).
Mohamed Elyounoussi (Norway) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.