Norway surprised Serbia with a 1-0 win away from home on Thursday, thanks to striker Erling Haaland’s magnificent first-half shot, but they required goalkeeping heroics from Orjan Nyland to preserve the win.
Martin Odegaard ripped up the defence with a beautiful pass to Marcus Pedersen, who crossed for Haaland to delicately volley home from close range with the sole chance on target in the first half in the 26th minute.
Serbia dominated possession and put the Norwegian defence under intense pressure in the second half, but Nyland made a series of superb saves to preserve his clean sheet and secure the three points for his team.
What a goal!
Erling Haaland’s goal for Norway against Serbia had Manchester City fans ecstatic.
The 21-year-old, who will become a City player on July 1, scored the game’s only goal in spectacular fashion.
Haaland won the first free kick, and as Norway got going immediately and attacked down the right, their No.9 showed terrifying speed to get into the box.
He was so far behind, yet an amazing dart towards the goal allowed him to assault the far post and score. (Watch the goal here!)
Haaland’s goal was rather simple, but the £51 million player is expected to produce such goals frequently next season.
Fans are very much salivating at the thought of Haaland getting these types of opportunities and think he could form quite the partnership with Raheem Sterling if he stays put.
Haaland scored nine goals in his previous six games for Norway and is quickly establishing himself as the ideal striker for Pep Guardiola and City.
His most recent stroke was another example of his tremendous movement, notably how he’s mastered the “double run.”
Haaland will frequently make a decoy run when his team has the ball in the closing third.
He then makes a second manoeuvre that provides him that crucial split second to discover the space.
It might be to the far or near post, but Haaland has mastered the technique, and the prospect of him being serviced by City’s playmakers is tantalising.
City’s chief creative, Kevin De Bruyne, has expressed his delight about joining up with the former Red Bull Salzburg man.
Speaking to HLN, he said: “Erling Haaland is a top striker. His move should help us to grow as a team.
“Everybody expects a lot. They’ve always been looking for a number 9, but I think it’ll be good to have that striker that maybe scores 20-25 goals a season.”