Haaland, Norway out of contention for Euro 2024 berth
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Manchester City striker Erling Haaland will miss Norway’s European Championship qualifying game against Scotland on Sunday with what the national team’s doctor described as a painful foot injury.
Adding to the injury, Norway can’t now qualify for Euro 2024 after Romania beat Israel 2-1 on Saturday. Israel misses out on an automatic qualifying spot but goes into the playoffs because of its Nations League record. That means Norway and Haaland can no longer reach the playoffs and will not play at Euro 2024.
Haaland was hurt when playing in Norway’s 2-0 win over the Faeroe Islands in a friendly on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, I am missing tomorrow’s game against Scotland. Wishing the boys all the best. Now treatment and trying to get back asap,” Haaland posted on social media Saturday.
Team doctor Ola Sand said the left foot injury had left Haaland in pain and with restricted movement. Norway manager Stale Solbakken later gave a more upbeat assessment.
“It’s the movement in his foot that is the problem but it’s not a serious injury. Had it been a final, I don’t know (if he would have been fit to play),” said Solbakken, speaking at Hampden on Saturday evening. “All parties agree it is probably a little too early (for him to play) but it is not a career-threatening injury.”
Sunday’s game in Glasgow won’t now affect either team’s qualifying chances. Scotland has already qualified for next year’s European Championship in Germany and Norway is third in the group and can’t qualify automatically, and with its playoff hopes now over.
The injury had initially been described as a possible recurrence of an earlier ankle injury. Haaland came off with an ankle injury in the 6-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Nov. 4. He started in City’s next game three days later.
City, the leader, plays second-place Liverpool when the Premier League returns on Nov. 25. Haaland has 13 goals in 12 Premier League games for City this season.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
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