The future suddenly seems very bright for a young football player from Bergen, who won cheers and respect after scoring two goals against France in a national “friendly” match in Oslo Wednesday night.
Erik André Huseklepp emerged as a new Norwegian hero, with his goals securing a 2-1 victory over France, which was playing its first match since its disastrous performance both on and off the field at the World Cup in South Africa.
Sports commentators claimed that Huseklepp had a tough start at Ullevaal Stadium just after the 9:15pm kickoff, but he “played himself up,” according to newspaper Aftenposten, and made his international breakthrough with his “two glorious goals.”
The 25-year-old native of Bærum, (shown with longer hair in the PicApp photo below from last year), plays professionally for Brann of Bergen but commentators were already claiming on Thursday morning that he now may be a prime candidate for being sold to a bigger, more prestigious club outside Norway. International talent scouts were in the stands on Wednesday night, and couldn’t help but take notice of a potential star striker.
“Huseklepp stole the show,” blasted Aftenposten’s headline Thursday morning, while another player who’d expected to get more attention had to leave the field during the break. Mohammed Abdellaoue, known as Moa, has been on a roll of his own for Oslo club Vålerenga of late and was considered the main target of the international scouts. He reportedly suffered an ankle injury, though, and couldn’t complete the match against France.
Wednesday night’s action bodes well for Norway’s first qualifying match for the European Championships against Iceland on September 3.
The French squad, meanwhile, tried to redeem themselves and won generally good reviews for their performance both on and off the field in Oslo, but the loss to Norway gave their new coach a rough start. A total of 15,165 spectators attended the match, at a stadium that can hold as many as 25,000.