Spain beat Haaland-less Norway 3-0

Sports Desk, Mar 25 (EFE).- Luis de la Fuente’s tenure as Spain coach got off to the best possible start Saturday with a 3-0 victory in a Euro 2024 qualifier against Norway, who were without injured scoring machine Erling Haaland.

The new boss made seven changes to the lineup from Spain’s last outing, a loss on penalties to Morocco in the knockout stage of World Cup 2022.

The squad experienced major turnover after the tournament and De la Fuente was forced to bring in some new faces, including 32-year-old striker Joselu, who scored a brace in his international debut.

Spain set the pace in the opening minutes at La Rosaleda in Malaga, taking the lead in the 13th minute thanks to Dani Olmo, who deflected Alejandro Balde’s cross into the net.

Just two minutes later, however, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and defender Aymeric Laporte combined to give away the ball and Arsenal man Martin Odegaard would likely have made them pay if Nacho hadn’t intervened.

La Roja had most of the ball and put seven shots on target to just two for the visitors, yet Norway refused to give up and Spain’s lead remained 1-0 heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation when De la Fuente made a double substitution, swapping out Fabian Ruiz for Mikel Merino and replacing captain Alvaro Morata with Joselu.

Barely three minutes after coming on, Joselu got his head to a Ruiz cross to make it 2-0 for Spain. Less than a minute later, he pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired home to nail down the 3 points for the hosts. EFE rmm/dr

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