Football

Norway 0-1 Spain: Gavi masterclass sends Spain to European Championships next year, leaving Haaland’s Norway on the brink of missing out another tournament

Luis De La Fuente’s young Spanish side has claimed an all-important victory against Norway as FC Barcelona youngster Gavi proved his mettle once again, scoring the winner, thus leading Spain to the EURO 2024 competition, to be held in summer next year.

An intense clash between two dangerous sides

Spain and Norway always promises to be an exciting encounter, especially with the rise of youngsters from both sides which has paved way for the traditional style of football in both teams. Haaland and Odegaard from Norway, coupled with the exuberance of La Masia youngsters in the Spanish National Team in the form of Gavi and Ansu Fati, this battle has delivered whenever they have locked horns against each other. Last night, it was scheduled to be another mouth-watering clash with an European qualification at stake for both sides, thus both teams would have vouched for a victory, which will see them through into next year’s finals. Norway had the edge in terms of home support as fans had swarmed in to cheer for their team, but it was Spain who had the last laugh, with Barcelona’s prodigal son Gavi scoring the winner minutes after half-time.

Spectacular Gavi

Pablo Paez Gavira, who is fondly known as Gavi, has been one of the brightest stars for FC Barcelona since last few seasons. The youngster, who has already won Kopa Trophy and a La Liga trophy to his name, has been a star for Xavi, The 19-year old midfielder, who idolizes Xavi and Iniesta, has quite often lived up to his name, after his meteoric rise through the ranks of La Masia has seen him achieved laurels for the Catalan club. He had been instrumental in the Catalan colors last season as Barca lifted the La Liga trophy after a hiatus of four years, and has continued his impressive streak since then. His achievements for the club had seen him earn an well deserved national call-up in 2021, and has delivered to his expectations in the national jersey too.

Last night, he added one more feather to his cap, when he scored the winner against Norway in an away fixture, which decided their fate of going into the finals of the coveted EUROs to be held next year.

With Gavi’s score in the early second half, Spain had qualified for EURO 2024, as La Roja barely gave any chance to Manchester City front man Erling Haaland to strike a ball to their net. The Scandinavian country, which had played an international tournament dating back to EURO 2000, would only be able to qualify for the EUROs next year through Nations League Playoffs.

Tough chances for Norway

The Scandinavian country, which boasts the presence of treble winners with Manchester City in the form of Erling Haaland, would now find it difficult to qualify for the finals of the tournament, as they sit on a meagre third position, with a deficit of five points with toppers Spain and Scotland, and having a solitary game in hand. Haaland’s brigade barely found an opportunity to score against their opponents as the sturdy Spanish defensive line had been on their feet to stop him from scoring.

La Roja had drawn the first blood when Norwegian Stephen Sandberg’s deflected shot allowed Alvaro Morata to hammer the ball to their net, thus going 1-0 up within 20 minutes, but unfortunately it was ruled out due to offside. Carvajal’s ball was aimed at Brighton winger Ansu Fati, but it was left by Morata after Strandberg’s intervention to go for own goal, later getting ruled out for offside.

Gavi finally fired Spain ahead minutes after half-time after a unscrupulous scramble in the Scandinavian defense allowed the Barca midfielder to pounce upon opponents, thus registering his fifth goal in 25 appearances for the nation. Spain gradually hold on to their slender lead, before eventually qualifying for the EUROs along with Scotland, breaking into celebrations at the final whistle.

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