Norway Eliminated from Euro2024 Qualifying After 1-0 Loss to Spain:
Norway’s hopes of qualifying for Euro2024 were ended on November 19, 2023 with a 1-0 defeat to Spain. The loss mathematically eliminated Norway from contention for automatic qualification and a playoff spot.
Norway now became the first side to be knocked out of Euro2024 after Israel’s 2-1 defeat against Romania in the Qualifiers on Saturday.
Norway went into their match against Spain needing a win to keep their qualification hopes alive. However, they were unable to get the victory, sealing their elimination. According to UEFA’s official website, Norway finished third in Group A with 10 points from their 10 matches. They ended up 6 points behind second-placed Scotland and 8 points behind of group winners Spain.
Official: Norway are out of Euro2024. No chance to qualify even for the Playoff as it’s now mathematically over. ❌ pic.twitter.com/0m9Ol6tUSv
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 18, 2023
The national team is now guaranteed to miss their fifth straight major tournament, with their last appearance coming at Euro 2000. Despite showing promise at times during qualifying, Norway was ultimately undone by inconsistent performances.
As reported by the BBC, Norway got off to a promising start in qualifying, with draws against Spain and Sweden along with wins over Romania and Malta. However, their campaign began to unravel following a shock 2-1 home loss to Serbia in June 2023. Further defeats to Slovenia and Scotland in September effectively ended Norway’s qualification chances.
According to Opta statistics, Norway only managed to score 10 goals over the course of their 10 qualifying matches. Their lack of firepower, especially in key games, proved to be a fatal flaw. Star striker Erling Haaland scored 5 of those 10 goals but missed a number of matches through injury.
Haaland was ruled out of Norway’s final qualifier against Spain due to an ankle injury. The Manchester City forward has struggled with ankle problems throughout the club season, missing Premier League matches in November 2023. His absence was a major blow to Norway’s qualification hopes.
As noted by Eurosport Norway, Haaland’s unavailability for national team duty has been an ongoing issue. Calf and ankle problems caused him to miss 4 of Norway’s 10 qualifying matches. Without their one world-class talent, Norway’s offense lacked punch.
While this campaign ended in disappointment, Norway will look to bounce back in World Cup qualifying starting in 2023. There were promising signs from young players that could become mainstays of the national team moving forward.
According to Transfermarkt, emerging talents like Morten Thorsby, Kristian Thorstvedt and Erik Botheim gained valuable experience during qualifying. These players and others will now be relied upon as Norway seeks to rebound.
The Euro2024 elimination will serve as motivation for Norway to improve and put together a more successful qualifying effort for the 2026 World Cup. As noted by TV2 Norway, head coach Ståle Solbakken recognizes the need to expand the player pool and build depth across all positions. Lessons from this failed campaign will aid that process.
For now though, the team and their fans will be left to wonder what could have been if not for crucial dropped points along the way. Norway once again fell short of reaching a major tournament, extending a drought dating back to the early 2000s. Increased consistency and better health and availability from star players like Haaland will be key if Norway hopes to make it to Euro 2028 or the 2026 World Cup.