Northern Ireland v Norway Live Commentary & Result, 07/09/2020, UEFA Nations League

After a one-sided contest, Norway clinch all three points following a free-scoring display. Just two minutes into the match, Elyounoussi opened the scoring before McNair found an immediate response. Further first-half goals from Haaland and Sorloth ensured the visitors went into the break with a comfortable lead, before both Norwegian attackers added their second after the restart to put the game beyond Northern Ireland.



90′ + 3′ Meling goes into the book after cynically catching Dallas down the right-hand side of the field. He can have no complaints about that decision. The resulting set-piece comes to nothing.

90′ + 1′ SO CLOSE TO ANOTHER! Haaland slides a pass in behind the hosts’ defence for Sorloth, who looks to loft a first-time effort over Peacock-Farrell from a tight angle. The goalkeeper gets an important touch on it, before Ferguson nods the ball off the line. 

90′ There will be three added minutes at the end of this match. 

88′ An out-swinging corner isn’t dealt with in the centre of the Norway penalty area, but McNair’s ambitious effort from the edge of the box is tame, allowing the visitors to clear their lines.  

86′ The home side continue to look to make something happen, but they are struggling to find a way through Norway’s resolute defensive unit.  

84′ Romania now lead Austria 3-2 in the group’s other match. 

82′ SAVED! Following a foul by Davis, Normann’s resulting free-kick from the edge of the box is easily claimed by Peacock-Farrell in the top-right corner of the goal. 

81′ WIDE! After an inviting delivery into Norway’s box dropped to the edge of the box, Davis unleashed a first-time left-footed shot that flew wide the left of Jarstein’s goal. 

J. Svensson

O. Elabdellaoui


79′ Lagerback chooses to make his third substitution in looking to keep things fresh. Elabdellaoui is replaced by Svensson. 

79′ CHANCE! Sorloth connects with Elabdellaoui’s cross from the right, but Peacock-Farrell claws the ball out when it looked destined for the bottom-right corner. 


78′ The visitors also make another alteration as Meling comes onto the field in place of Aleesami. There are 12 minutes of normal time left to play. 

Northern Ireland

77′ Baraclough makes his third change of the match with Washington coming off to be replaced by Lavery. 

75′ SHOT! Following some neat play down the right, the loose ball drops to Dallas, who curls a well-struck effort from distance right at Jarstein. 

73′ Norway continue to work the ball around with confidence just inside of Ireland’s half. The home side have just started to stand off their opponents.  

Northern Ireland

71′ The hosts respond by making a substitution of their own. Evans enters the fray in place of Saville. It remains 5-1. 


71′ Lagerback opts to make his first alteration of the game as we enter the final 20 minutes of normal time. King comes on to replace the captain, Johansen. 

69′ CLOSE! Cathcart goes in a little late on Johansen and concedes a free-kick down the right flank. The resulting set-piece by Johansen is flicked on in the centre of the box by Smith, and Peacock-Farrell scrambles across to his far post to deny an own-goal. 

Northern Ireland

69′ Yellow Card Craig Cathcart

67′ Saville picks the ball up down the left and drives in field before laying it off for Thompson. The midfielder turns into space before dragging his left footed shot well wide of Jarstein’s near post from distance.  

65′ In the other match in this group, Romania now lead Austria 2-1. 

63′ Norway are content to keep the ball now and make the home side come onto them after establishing a four-goal cushion. 

61′ CLOSE! Elabdellaoui’s cross from the right is met by Sorloth, who just steers his header from close range beyond the top-right corner of the net.  

60′ Boyce is too eager to win the ball back for the home side and clips Aleesami. Baraclough’s team are struggling to find any sort of rhythm at present.  


58′ It is another wonderfully well-worked move that opens up Ireland once again. Sorloth comes deep to drag the hosts up the field, opening up the space in behind which Elabdellaoui and Haaland punish.


58′ GOAL! Haaland adds another! Johansen clips another ball forward which Sorloth knocks down for Elabdellaoui. The full-back sends a first-time header beyond the hosts’ defence for Haaland, who opens up his body and curls a powerful shot into the bottom-left corner from the centre of the box. 5-1.

57′ Dallas impedes Elyounoussi, and the visitors are awarded another free-kick. 

55′ The home side are once again seeing plenty of the ball in deep areas of the pitch. Washington receives possession down the left from Ferguson, turns into space, and looks to slide a pass through for Boyce. His attempted throughball, however, runs straight through to Jarstein.

53′ Normann is caught from behind by Boyce and the away side have a free-kick inside their own half.  

51′ Dallas’ cross from the right deflects behind for a corner off Aleesami. The in-swinging delivery clatters off Boyce, before a lofted cross evades everyone and goes out for a goal-kick. 

49′ Sorloth has now scored six goals in his last five games for Norway after managing just two in his previous 19 for his country. 


47′ Johansen and Haaland deserve immense credit for this goal. The weight off pass is absolutely inch-perfect, allowing Haaland to showcase his blistering pace to get the better of Cathcart. Norway made that easy.  


47′ GOAL! Norway grab their fourth! Johansen plays a smart, lofted pass over the top of Ireland’s defence and Haaland is able to beat Cathcart to the ball. The attacker picks his head up and steers it across the box for Sorloth, who taps into the bottom-left corner for his second of the game. 4-1.  

46′ We are back underway! Frankowski, the referee, blows his whistle and Norway get the second half kicked off. 

Northern Ireland

46′ The hosts make one change at the break, with Boyce coming on in place of Ballard.  

Following their lacklustre first-half display, Baraclough will be looking for a response from his side after the restart. Washington’s movement has caused the away team problems thus far, but the quality of ball into the striker has often been below par. Norway, on the other hand, will look to continue in much the same fashion in the second half. Haaland and Sorloth have constantly had the beating of Ballard and Smith, and both will be central if the visitors are to further extend their lead. 

After an entertaining opening half of football, Norway take a two-goal lead in at the break. Elyounoussi opened the scoring after just two minutes with a close-range finish, but McNair immediately got the hosts back on level terms. Shortly after the leveller, Haaland’s well-executed strike put the visitors back in front, before Sorloth turned home Aleesami’s inch-perfect delivery to give Norway some breathing space.  


45′ There will be one minute of added time at the end of the first half. 

44′ The hosts have conceded three goals in the first half of a game for the first time since June 2012, when they shipped four in the first period against the Netherlands in a 6-0 away defeat. 

42′ Norway win a free-kick just in from the right flank after a foul by Thompson on Normann. The set-piece is swung in towards the centre of the box by Johansen, but Ajer had just gone too early and is flagged for offside.  

40′ Peacock-Farrell takes a heavy touch from a back pass, allowing Haaland to close him down and deflect the clearance out for a throw-in down the left-hand side. 

38′ Normann goes in a little late on Thompson and the home side get a free-kick in their own half.  

Northern Ireland

36′ After letting the advantage play out, the referee comes back to award Ballard a yellow card for that late foul on Haaland. He can have no complaints with that decision. 

36′ GOOD BLOCK! The hosts sloppily give the ball away in their own half to Haaland, who slides it to his right for Sorloth before being taken out by Ballard. The attacker cuts inside onto his left foot and sees his shot blocked into the path of Normann, whose acrobatic effort sails over the bar.  

34′ Aleesami overhits a lofted pass along the left flank for Haaland to chase, and it runs behind for a goal-kick. 

32′ As things stand, the other match in this group between Austria and Romania is 1-1.

30′ Elabdellaoui goes down after a coming together with Saville and wins a free-kick down the right-hand side of the field. 

29′ Haaland looks to get on the end of a loose backwards pass from Davis, although Cathcart stands his ground to steer the ball back towards his own goal to relieve the pressure. 

27′ Baraclough’s team are just beginning to control proceedings as they look to force an opening from deep. Smith’s over-the-top throughball for Washington runs out for a goal-kick. 

25′ Haaland has scored 18 goals in 20 appearances for club and country in 2020. 

23′ Normann clips McNair in looking to win the ball back quickly for Norway, but the referee awards the hosts a free-kick in their defensive third. 

21′ CHANCE! Dallas goes close to quickly pulling one back for the home side, but his left-footed drive after Saville’s lay-off sails over the bar from the edge of the box. 


19′ Norway moved the ball extremely quickly as they carved Ireland open to create space down the left-hand side of the field. Alaasami’s delivery into the area was inch-perfect for Sorloth to bury from just a few yards out. Another well-worked goal. 


19′ GOAL! Sorloth makes it three for the away side! Johansen drives in field before laying the ball off to Haaland, who sprays it over to the left for Aleesami. The full-back delivers a first-time cross in towards the far post, which Sorloth knocks into the top-right corner from close range. 3-1. 

18′ Lagerback’s side are enjoying their best spell of possession at present as they confidently knock the ball around just inside the hosts’ half. 

16′ Normann picks the ball up in the centre of the park and looks to set Haaland away down the left. Smith, however, is alert to the danger and makes a timely interception. 

14′ Haaland pushes Ballard in the back in seeking to latch onto Jarstein’s searching pass. Free-kick to Ireland deep inside their own half.  

12′ Hovland is forced to concede a corner to the left after some clever movement from Washington. The set-piece is taken quickly and Dallas nods McNair’s cross wide at the far post.

10′ Thompson attempts to slide Washington in behind Norway’s defence along the left wing, but the flag was up for offside. 

9′ After a frantic start, the game has slowed down a little in the last couple of minutes. Norway are content to just sit behind the ball to as the home side look for an immediate response. 


7′ ANOTHER GOAL! Norway are back in front! A long pass gets played forward towards Sorloth, who manages to direct the loose ball towards the edge of the box after Ballard failed to make the interception. Haaland opens up his body and unleashes a sweetly-struck left-footed strike into the bottom-left corner. Peacock-Farrell could do nothing about that. 2-1. 

Northern Ireland

6′ GOAL! It is all square! Ballard sends the ball beyond the Norway defence and down the right flank for Washington to chase. The forward takes it down smartly before seeing his close-range effort well stopped by Jarstein, but McNair is on hand to fire in the rebound. 1-1. 

4′ Haaland finds himself in space down the left-hand side of the field, but his cross back across goal is smartly stopped by Peacock-Farrell. 


2′ The home side were carved open far too easily in the opening minutes by a pinpoint delivery over the top of the defence by Johansen. The movement from Elyounoussi was clever to create a yard of space to apply the finish. A wonderful goal to break the deadlock. 


2′ GOAL! The away side take an early lead! Johansen receives the ball along the right, cuts inside onto his left foot, and floats a cross into the hosts’ penalty area from deep. Elyounoussi arrives at the back post having peeled away from Smith, chests it down, and slots an effort beyond Peacock-Farrell from close range. 1-0. 

1′ KICK OFF! The referee, Bartosz Frankowski, blows his whistle and Ireland get the game underway.  

The teams are out, and kick-off will soon be upon us here at Windsor Park. 

Northern Ireland have lost six of their last seven matches against Norway in all competitions, winning the other 2-0 at home in March 2017 in a World Cup qualifier. 

Following Michael O’Neill’s resignation, Ian Baraclough has yet to taste defeat as manager of Northern Ireland, with his side securing a scored draw with Romania in his first game in charge. The hosts, however, are winless in their previous two home matches, and will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat in Baraclough’s first fixture at Windsor Park. Norway, on the other hand, come into this Nations League clash in fine form, having only lost once in their last ten matches in all competitions. The visitors last lost consecutive fixtures back in November 2017, so Lars Lagerback will be looking for a response in Belfast.

The hosts make three changes from their line-up that drew with Romania last time out. Jamal Lewis, who is on the verge on completing a transfer to Newcastle United, isn’t in the squad, with Smith coming in to replace him. Ferguson and Thompson also start in place of the suspended Josh Magennis and Evans, who drops to the bench. Norway, meanwhile, make four alterations, with Hovland, Henriksen, Elyounoussi and Sorloth starting ahead of Tore Reginiussen, Berge, Thorsby and King.

NORWAY SUBS: Orjan Nyland, Sondre Rossbach, Martin Linnes, Andreas Hanche-Olsen, Jonas Svensson, Birger Meling, Ruben Gabrielsen, Iver Fossum, Morten Thorsby, Patrick Berg, Sander Berge, Joshua King. 

NORTHERN IRELAND SUBS: Michael McGovern, Trevor Carson, Conor McLaughlin, Niall McGinn, Corry Evans, Ethan Galbraith, Alfie McCalmont, Joel Cooper, Shayne Lavery, Liam Boyce, Kyle Lafferty. 

NORWAY (4-4-2): Rune Jarstein; Omar Elabdellaoui, Kristoffer Ajer, Even Hovland, Haitam Aleesami; Stefan Johansen, Markus Henriksen, Mathias Normann, Mohamed Elyounoussi; Erling Haaland, Alexander Sorloth.

NORTHERN IRELAND (3-5-2): Bailey Peacock-Farrell; Michael Smith, Craig Cathcart, Danny Ballard; Stuart Dallas, Jordan Thompson, Steven Davis, George Saville, Shane Ferguson; Paddy McNair, Conor Washington.   

The home side come into this game looking to build on their 1-1 draw with Romania last time out in League B Group 1. Norway, meanwhile, will be seeking a return to winning ways following their 2-1 home defeat to Austria in their previous match. 

Hello and welcome to live match coverage of the Nations League fixture between Northern Ireland and Norway at Windsor Park. 

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