The Norwegian Government banned their own national football team travelling to Romania for their Nation League game and three vital points were lost. But instead of trying to convince everyone that this was wrong or just ignore their own Government Covid-19 rules and regulations they build a creative plan to play their next game v. Austria.Embed from Getty Images
The fact that defender Omar Elabdellaoui tested positive on Covid-19 made the whole squad a close contact and they all had to follow regulations of a 10 day quarantine. This made impossible to travel to Rumania, but a plan was set into action to save the Austria game.
A total new and alternative squad was build based on Norwegian players playing abroad and one player from the Norwegian league that had tested positive on Covid-19 before, Veton Berisha. It was a number of players that earlier had a number of caps and some that had been in the squad before, but this was one of the most extraordinary plans ever to be seen in football.
During 48 hours the administration build a squad and put together a management with U.21 boss Leif Gunnar Smerud taking charge of the team, and what looked totally unlikely was taking form and players arrived from everywhere in Europe to land in Norway for their Covid-19 tests and with everything clear, they were all on the plane to Austria.
They managed one single training session together and it also upset the plans of Austria, who had no idea of what they were facing, a team that never had played together before and nothing to work from, but as they knew, all of these players that Norway picked were all proven professionals playing in Belgium, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Cypros, Sweden and Denmark.Embed from Getty Images
Norway shocked Austria and when taking the lead after 61 minutes from Apoel midfielder Ghayas Zahid, they really deserved it, with a number of chances and great play, especially by the defense and goalkeeper who had a splended day at the office.
Austria scored an equalizer in stoppage time, and it was clear that Norway would probably have won the game if they hadn’t made an attempt to score the 2nd goal as that would have taken them all the way into the top group of Nations League.Embed from Getty Images
Captain of the day was the former Manchester United and Cardiff City midfielder Mats Møller Dæhli, who had probably his proudest moment in life as he was leading “the national team of need” out in a surreal situation and will forever be part of Norwegian football history with this game. What a performance from “the little giant” as he played probably his best game in the national shirt, playing his 24th game for Norway against Austria. Dæhli has experienced a bit of a downfall after signing for Ghenk in Belgium, and being out in the cold for a long time, and it all became very emotional.
Ruben Gabrielsen (Toulouse) Andreas Hanche-Olsen (Gent) and Sondre Tronstad (Vitesse) where all showing their best and kept £27million Spurs target Marcel Sabitzer quiet, as they all performed heroically well and must of course be considered for future action in this team.
This must be seen as a real wake up call for all nations as Norway showed how you can stay in line with some of the hardest Covid-19 rules and and the same time find a work around that makes it possible to play and to show “no fear” and just pick a team and play, take it on the foot and show the World that, giving the unobvious a chance it can really work, so again Look To Norway, the country among the lowest Covid-19 hit places on the planet.