Kazakhstan U21 vs Norway U21 by 20Legend
Kazakhstan lost their last game as expected against England (0-1). It was a scenario that was expected, but Kazakhstan did not make it easy as for England. The Englishmen grabbed en early lead after six minutes and Kazakhstan became more and more defensive. They had to lay low in order to destroy the rhythm of England’s game. However, the players used a lot of energy to cover the pitch without the ball, which created some room for England to exploit. England created several chances without scoring, but they did not have to either. It was easy for them to be satisfied with the three points as it brought them a ticket to the Euros in Poland.
Norway managed to beat 2nd placed Switzerland (2-1) it their last match witch was crucial in order to keep hope on getting through the qualification. Norway has now got the 2nd place and a possible chance of decide themselves with a win against tonight’s opponent. The Norwegian team has currently 13 points in 2nd place, but it is not enough to be qualified. It is only the four best teams in 2nd place that can proceed to the Euros in 2018 in Poland. Norway is currently 5th on that ranking, which means that a win tonight is vital to keep the dream alive. It also means that some of the other teams ahead must slip up in order for Norway to climb inside top 4.
Norway’s win against Switzerland was everything else but easy. The game started off nervous as both teams needed to win in order to be in the fight for a possible ticket to Poland. It was not the biggest of chances that occurred inside the first 45 minutes, but Norway controlled the game in terms of possession as they usually do. However, Mohamed Elyounoussi got inside the penalty-area just before halftime and was felled by an opponent. The ball passed away to his teammate Ghyas Zahid who scored the important first goal. The goal changed the tempo in the game as Switzerland was forced to respond.
Norway kept dominating the ball, but did not succeed on getting the second goal. The guests got their chance after the Norwegian team was not able to clear the ball after a corner. It put both teams back to square one as a draw would destroy both teams’ chances of advancing from the group. The game became more open and the last quarter was really nervous for both players and fans. Norway produced the biggest of chances and Muhamed Elyounoussi finally got his goal after 79 minutes. It was a great attack by Norway and Elyounoussi just had to tap the ball in on the open goal after a cross.
It is only Norway that has something to play for in this match and it should really be the only thing that means something in this match. Kazakhstan has 0-1-2 at home during this qualification as they are laying low. It has been England and Switzerland that have been able to win with a minimum margin of 0-1 here. Norway has 1-1-1 away from home, but must take with them the experience of beating Kazakhstan at home (2-1) last year. It is a must-win game and that is what the Norwegian players must keep their minds on. Only time will tell if three points will be enough to make them among top 4 of the second-placed teams, but it is not going to happen at all without the win. The odds on Norway are the only outcome in my opinion.