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Nations League round-up: Serbia hold Norway despite Blazic dismissal for chopping down Haaland

Nations League round: Serbia holds on to Norway despite Miha Blazic sacking for knocking down Erling Haaland, as Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough comes under fire from fans after Kosovo defeat

  • Slovenia took the first point on Thursday with a goalless draw in Norway
  • A goal in the first half from Luka Jovic gave Serbia a 1-0 victory over Sweden
  • Northern Ireland slumped to 3-2 defeat to Kosovo in Pristina

Slovenia overcame the elimination of defender Miha Blazic to take their first point of their Nations League Group B4 campaign, as they held out Norway 0-0 in Oslo on Thursday.

Slovenia was reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute when Blazic was shown a straight red card for knocking down Erling Haaland when he was on target, and Martin Odegaard hit the resulting free kick into the crossbar.

Haaland had plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t extend his tally of three goals in the competition, and Alexander Soerloth missed a great opportunity to take all three points and shot over the crossbar in the 75th minute as the visitors waited for a point.

Slovenian defender Miha Blazic received a straight red card for knocking down Erling Haaland

Slovenian defender Miha Blazic received a straight red card for knocking down Erling Haaland

Norway leads the group with seven points, one ahead of Serbia, which beat Sweden 1-0 in Stockholm. The Norwegians receive the Swedes on Sunday, while Serbia travels to the bottom of Slovenia.

A first-half goal from Luka Jovic gave Serbia a 1-0 win over Sweden in their Nations League Group B4 clash on Thursday, as the Swedes slumped to their second home defeat in a row thanks to another flat performance.

The visitors took the lead just before half-time when Strahinja Pavlovic headed a corner back over the goal to Jovic, reacting quickly to hook the ball in past Robin Olsen.

A first-half goal from Luka Jovic gave Serbia a 1-0 win against heavily changed Sweden

A first-half goal from Luka Jovic gave Serbia a 1-0 win against heavily changed Sweden

The Swedish attack missed several first-choice defenders through injury, but the Swedish attack again seemed to lack ideas as they registered a single shot on target and the Serbs held on to a comfortable win.

Serbia remained second in the group with six points, one behind Norway who played a scoreless draw with bottom side Slovenia in Oslo. The Serbs will travel to Slovenia on Sunday, while Sweden will go to Oslo to play against Norway.

The desperation of the Nations League in Northern Ireland was heightened when they were beaten 3-2 in Pristina against Kosovo, which caused some fans to openly turn against Ian Baraclough.

Some fans turned on Ian Baraclough after Northern Ireland suffered a 3-2 defeat to Kosovo

Some fans turned on Ian Baraclough after Northern Ireland suffered a 3-2 defeat to Kosovo

Sections of the Green and White Army chanted ‘Cheerio’ after the manager went on to acknowledge the traveling support at the end of a match, with the final score making it look better than it actually was for Northern Ireland.

Early attacks by Vedat Muriqi and Zymer Bytyqi, the first a penalty, brought Kosovo under control. And although Shayne Lavery got one back on the stroke of half-time, Muriqi’s second at the start of the second half should have killed him, despite Dan Ballard’s late header.

Northern Ireland’s games without a win in this competition are now number 13, but it was no luck to find them against at the Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri as they were second best after a shrewd Kosovo side that threatened to score more and the growing pressure on Barackough.

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