Norway’s hopes of qualifying for their first World Cup this century have taken a hit after they fell to a 3-0 home defeat to Turkey in the second round of European qualifying for Qatar 2022.
After failing to score against Gibraltar on Wednesday, it was a second match in a row without a goal for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
The 20-year-old’s form in the Bundesliga this season had led many to believe that he could be the man to end his country’s World Cup hiatus.
Norway haven’t played at a World Cup finals since France 1998 and it is vital that they pick up points against their main rivals, the Netherlands and Turkey, in Group G for Qatar 2022.
However, Haaland was substituted with his team 3-0 down on Saturday, being replaced by Morten Thorsby with seven minutes of the game left to go.
Before the international break, the youngster had been prolific for Dortmund, scoring at least two goals in three of his last four games – against Bayern Munich, Sevilla and Koln.
Since joining up with Norway, though, the goals have dried up. Alexander Sorloth, Kristian Thorstvedt and Jonas Svensson netted in the 3-0 win over Gibraltar, while Stale Solbakken‘s side drew a blank against Turkey.
If Norway are to qualify for Qatar – either by finishing first in their group or via the play-offs – they’ll need their star striker to start reproducing his club form in a red shirt.