– I’m really worried that the win will be missed. We felt that we should have hit the shots earlier, and then they got a lot of energy with their reduction. The fight came alive, and they had some good chances, he said.
By equalizing, the visitors will spoil Norway’s fantastic stats in World Cup qualifiers at home. After 35 such matches, the final result was 34 wins and one loss, and the defeat came in a match when Norway was ready for the World Cup.
– We started really well, and the first 15-20 minutes was one of the best we’ve achieved in a very long time. Then Poland came into the game a little bit, and eventually the game’s picture turned out to be the way we didn’t want it to be, with a lot of back and forth. Poland are a team that invests a lot on the counter-attack, said Sjögren.
– In the second half, we thought we would decide with the third goal. We had good chances, but their goalkeeper made a fantastic game. Then there’s new tension with their reduction, and the fight continues. The picture of the game in the last ten minutes is not very pleasant for a coach, but the most important thing is the three points.
Poland are one of two teams to have picked up points from Norwegian national team Sjögren in qualifying, by 0-0 last fall. The Netherlands were the first with a 1-0 win in the 2017 World Cup qualifiers. Both times, Norway hit back with a 2-1 win at home after a good start and exciting finish.
Norway finished as group winners in previous and possibly present World Cup qualifiers. That work should be completed this fall, but Norway will most likely qualify for the 9th World Cup final as much as possible.
A little too easy
– There are several reasons why it is difficult against Poland. They play very direct. We handled it well at the start, when we were very good in our attacking game. When we opened up to the counter-attack, they took advantage of it. “But if we can make it 3-0, I think the game will look different in the second half,” said Sjögren.
– The things we have to pay attention to and work on are the end of the attack, the readiness of the defense during the attacking game and with a view to the last quarter of the total organization of the defense. Then Poland had to play too easily against our box.
Sjögren also realized that Cecilie Fiskerstrand was lucky not to be sent off when he fouled Ewa Pajor outside the box early in the second half.
– I’m a VAR supporter, but that would probably be a loss for us today, he said.
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