The passive Norwegian team could not threaten the visiting Brazilians in the slightly damp October weather at the Ullevaal stadium. Nervous play in the opening minutes foreshadowed a tiring night, and that’s exactly what Norway got.
After the match, Hege Riise wanted to show what he and the players learned from his first defeat in match number three as national team manager.
– This is what we’re looking for: to get referrals at a high level and something to strive for. We hope it doesn’t turn out like that, Riise told NRK.
Brazil controlled everything, but the score never came until the 43rd minute. Adriana dragged herself past two or three Norwegian players and dropped the ball past debutant keeper Sunniva Skoglund who had no chance.
Without big stars Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hanne, Norway did not provide any attacks in the first half. After the break, Riise’s side got off to a poor start defending their own goal area, where Beatriz was given space after two minutes and punished an opponent who didn’t move. He finished well and placed the ball to make it 2-0.
Shortly thereafter, Norway got a reduction. From close range, Celin Bizet Ildhusøy scored his fifth goal in international number eleven after a solid corner from Guro Reiten. The ball was pushed by the opponent, but a wary Ildhusøy stood farther back in the field.
The increase did not last long. Two minutes later, the Norwegians struggled to clear a corner, and once again Beatriz took advantage of the waiting game before making it 3-1.
In less than a quarter of an hour, the fourth Brazilian netizen also arrived. This time it came from substitute Jaqueline Dos Santos, who easily scored from captain Ramires’ cross at the back post.
The defeat was Norway’s first at home since the US won 1-0 at Sandefjord in June 2017. In fact, it was the first time the Norway women’s national team had lost a game played at the Ullevaal Stadium.
The last time Norway did not win on the national stage was 2-2 against Austria in the summer of 2016.
– We learned so much, and you really feel your body how fast and often you run. Under our pressure of timing, there were too many wrong passes, Riise admitted after Friday’s lesson.
On Tuesday, the Netherlands waited in The Hague. Last year, Norway lost 0-7 against the same opponent. It was the biggest streak of all time for the women’s national team going 0-8 to England in this summer’s EC play-offs.
Riise deliberately helps choose tough opponents in preparation for next year’s WC. In November, there will also be a reunion with England.
– We will improve that image here and come out stronger in the next game with new courage, said the national team manager about the way Norway conceded against Brazil.
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