The Scotsman

Nor­way wreck Bar­a­clough’s big night with five-star show

- By CRAIG FORBES Sports · Norway · Northern Ireland · Ireland · Romania · Steven Davis · Scotland · Israel · Washington · Jonny Evans · Jamal Lewis · Slovenia · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Pat Jennings Jr. · Corry Evans

Ref­eree: B Frankowski (Pol)

NORTH­ERN IRE­LAND 1

Mcnair 6

NOR­WAY 5

Ely­ounoussi 2; Haa­land 7, 58; Sor­loth 19, 47

North­ern Ire­land were made to pay for a makeshift de­fence as Nor­way scored three times in the open­ing 20 min­utes on their way to a 5-1 Na­tions League win at Wind­sor Park.

With Jonny Evans and Ja­mal Lewis both miss­ing from the match day squad, North­ern Ire­land were re­peat­edly ex­posed at the back with Bai­ley Pea­cock-far­rell – the hero of Fri­day’s 1-1 draw in Ro­ma­nia – un­able to do any thing as Mo­hamed El you no us si, Er­ling Haa­land and Alexan­der Sor­loth all scored early goals.

There had been time dur­ing a fran­tic open­ing se­quence for Pad­dyMc­nair to score a fifth­minute equaliser, but sec­ond-half goals from Sor­loth and Haa­land saw North­ern Ire­land con­cede five at home for the first time since 2003.

Played out amid the echoes of an empty Wind­sor Park, it was cer­tainly not the night Ian Bar­a­clough was hop­ing for in his first home game in charge – and it will come as a chas­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with the Euro 2020 qual­i­fy­ing play-off away to Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina next on the agenda in Oc­to­ber.

It was also not the re­sult Steven Davis had hoped for as he lined up to earn his 119th cap, equalling the North­ern Ire­land record of Pat Jen­nings.

Nor­way, po­ten­tial op­po­nents in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship play-off fi­nal for Scot­land should Steven Clarke’ s side beat semi-fi­nal ri­vals Is­rael, were sim­ply too good and, in Haa­land, they have a young player of world-class qual­ity.

NORTH­ERN IRE­LAND: Pea­cock-far­rell, Smith, Bal­lard (Boyce 46), Cath­cart, Fer­gu­son, Davis, Thomp­son, Dal­las, Mcnair, Sav­ille (Corry Evans 71), Wash­ing­ton (Lav­ery 77). Subs not used: Mcginn, Cooper, Mc­cal­mont, Carson, Gal­braith, Mcgovern, Mclaugh­lin, Laf­ferty.

NOR­WAY: Jarstein, Elab­del­laoui (Svens­son 79), Hov­land, Ajer, Aleesami (Mel­ing 78), Jo­hansen (King 71), Hen­rik­sen, Nor­mann, Ely­ounoussi, Sor­loth, Ha­land. Subs not used: Thorsby, Berg, Gabrielsen, Hanche-olsen, ross­bach, Ny­land, Fos­sum, Linnes, Berge.

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