The Norwegian national football team’s loss to Estonia Wednesday night has squashed the recently revived squad’s spirits again. Fortunately for the team, the match was only a friendly and has no bearing on Norway’s chances to win a spot in the next European Championships.
Estonia beat Norway 1-0 on home turf at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, and Norway’s new young international star Martin Ødegaard was sent in to play during the second half. Not even he could reverse the teams’ fortunes, despite showing himself to be among Norway’s best players. Estonia’s players noticed him too, with Aleksandr Dmitrijev telling state broadcaster NRK that “he’s fantastic, everyone could see that.”
Now the Norwegian team needs to pull itself together again before meeting Azerbaijan in a Euro qualifying match on Sunday. Norway’s loss to Estonia was blamed mostly on a weak defense and a goalkeeper’s mistake. Coach Per-Mathias Høgmo is now considering letting Ødegaard start when play gets underway again on Sunday.