Manchester City star Erling Haaland scored twice for Norway to keep their hopes alive for Euro 2024 qualification in a 4-0 demoralising defeat of Cyprus.
Thursday night’s defeat to Norway in Larnaca marks Cyprus’ sixth consecutive loss in the Euro 2024 qualifying phase for Group A.
The national team’s performance against Norway showcased their struggles, as they failed to mount a meaningful response, resulting in yet another disheartening loss.
Cyprus suffered a 4-0 thrashing at the AEK Arena, leaving the team without a single point to show for their six matches so far in the competition.
The defence has proved porous, conceding a staggering 21 goals in the competition while managing to score only two.
Cyprus’ biggest defeat in the Euro 2024 qualifiers came against Spain when the Spaniards demolished them 6-0.
This lopsided performance has raised questions about the team’s players and coach Temur Ketsbaia’s capabilities.
During their game with Norway, the team appeared to be entirely focused on defending, unable to maintain possession or pose any significant threat.
Cyprus could muster just two off-target attempts, a stark contrast to Norway’s 21 attempts, nine of which were on target.
In the first 45 minutes, Cyprus managed to keep out Norway, who scored in the first half from a wickedly deflected Alexander Sorloth shot.
However, star striker Haaland took centre stage in the second half, scoring two goals within eight minutes (65′, 72′), extending his tally to 27 goals for the national team.
Norway’s midfielder Fredrik Aursnes (81′) added another goal, sealing a convincing victory in front of a sold-out stadium.
The Scandinavian side notched their third win and collected 10 points in the group, positioning themselves to challenge for second place.
Surprisingly, Scotland is first with 15 points, followed by Spain with 12.
A pivotal clash between Norway and Spain looms on the horizon, set to take place on Sunday, with qualification hopes at stake.
Meanwhile, Cyprus faces an away game against Georgia on Sunday, where their struggle to secure their first points continues.