Haaland scores as Norway holds Netherlands to 1-1 draw
Erling Haaland spoiled Louis van Gaals return as Netherlands coach, scoring the opening goal as Norway held the Dutch to a 1-1 draw in World Cup qualification Group G.Haalands 20th-minute strike on Wednesday was cancelled out by Netherlands midfielder Davy Klaassen in front of 7,000 fans at Oslos Ullevaal Stadium.
Haaland's 20th-minute strike on Wednesday was cancelled out by Netherlands midfielder Davy Klaassen in front of 7,000 fans at Oslo's Ullevaal Stadium. Substitute Denzel Dumfries came close to snatching a winner for the Netherlands with the last attempt of the match.
The qualifier was the first for the Netherlands since Van Gaal took over for his third stint as coach and marked the return of captain Virgil van Dijk, who was sidelined for months with a serious knee injury.
Turkey remained on top of Group G after four matches, while the draw in Oslo left the Netherlands one point adrift in second, ahead of Montenegro and Norway on goal difference. Latvia beat Gibraltar 3-1 in the group's other match.
Van Gaal restored the team to the formation of four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards favored by his players. But the attacking setup left the Dutch vulnerable to Norway's fast breaks and the Netherlands forwards could not break down the stubborn Norwegian defense.
Haaland forced a good save from Dutch debutant goalkeeper Justin Bijlow in the 15th minute and five minutes later the 21-year-old controlled a high ball, held off a Van Dijk challenge and poked the ball past Bijlow to give Norway the lead. It was the Borussia Dortmund striker's eighth goal in just his 13th international match.
''You can't do anything about it. That's the quality of Haaland,'' Van Gaal said.
Van Gaal took over from Frank de Boer, who resigned after the Netherlands was eliminated from the European Championship by the Czech Republic. Klaassen's goal was the 100th by the Netherlands under Van Gaal's leadership. AP SSC SSC
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