Bundesliga stars Erling Haaland and Alexander Sørloth saw their European dream end Thursday night in the freezing October Oslo rain. A late equalizer by Matthias Normann saw the Scandinavian Lions push the match into extra time, but a 102nd minute goal by Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic ensured that Serbia advanced 2-1 in the delayed European Championship qualification playoffs.
|Erling Haaland.||Photo: Werner100359, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Erling Haaland just couldn't carry his Bundesliga form from this weekend over for his country. Despite being deployed alongside Leipzig's Alexander Sørloth in a menacing 4-4-2, the Dortmund superstar couldn't get much going offensively for head coach Lars Lägerbeck's Løvene.
Opponents Serbia dominated the first half proceedings with the two potent weapons up top getting virtually no looks at goal. Haaland did manage to get an attempt in off a set piece in the 33rd, but his effort was cooly defused by Nemanja Maksimovic. The two German club attackers would not get any other noteworthy chances thereafter.
Milinkovic-Savic opened the scoring moments after being subbed on in the 80th with an 82nd minute set-piece conversation. The Norwegian response came out of nowhere. Substitute Normann found the back of the net in the 88th with a brilliant effort from just outside the penalty area.
As they had for most of the night, the Serbs had the better chances in extra time. Hertha BSC keeper Rune Jarstein did his utmost to keep it level with a few stellar saves. The 36-year-old was nevertheless powerful when Milinkovic lifted in a stunner from a very acute angle three minutes before the extra time break. The Serbs were clever enough to park the bus thereafter.
The EM dream continues for Bundesliga Serbian internationals Millos Veljkovic (SV Werder Bremen) and Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt), neither of whom played in the fixture. Hoffenheim's Mijact Gacinovic came on for the final 15 minutes, but did not truly factor in.