England 1-1 Norway: Final score, result and report as Ellie Roebuck’s errors sees Lionesses held to frustrating draw
Goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck’s error allowed 10-woman Norway to come from behind to draw 1-1 with England, although the Lionesses still finished the calendar year unbeaten.
England had taken the lead in the first half at the Pinatar Arena in Murcia, Spain, through Rachel Daly but Sarina Wiegman’s side were unable to finish the year with a victory.
Despite Anja Sonstevold being sent off for a second yellow card offence, Norway equalised when Roebuck made a costly misjudgement as she came out of the box but failed to clear the ball, allowing Frida Maanum to slot in the equaliser.
The last time the sides met in the Euros over the summer, England ran out 8-0 winners to secure qualification from their group and serve notice of their tournament-winning quality – but Norway offered a much tougher challenge in November.
Since then, Norway have employed former England interim head coach Hege Riise and their tactics saw them sit deep against the England attack, who enjoyed most of the early possession but struggled to create significant openings.
It was Norway who had the best of the early chances in the 22nd minute when debutant Maya Le Tissier was beaten, allowing Emile Haavi to break down the left, but Guro Reiten’s shot was just wide of the goal.
Lauren James also had an opportunity to break through when she shot from distance following a clever Kiera Walsh one-two, but her effort was straight at the Norway goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen.
England broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark when Daly headed past Mikalsen.
The 30-year-old Aston Villa forward, who has been employed in a number of positions including left- and right-back throughout her career but was selected on this occasion in her regular club position, was expertly picked out by Chloe Kelly and nodded home.
Roebuck had to make a key save to prevent Sophie Haug from levelling the score after the break. The Manchester City goalkeeper blocked Haug’s attempt to tap the ball over the line after capitalising on a defensive error, and Alex Greenwood was able to clear.
Roebuck also had to make a save in the 56th minute to keep out a curling free kick from Reiten towards the corner.
Just after the 70-minute mark, Norway’s task of finding an equaliser was made more challenging when Sonstevold was sent off following a second yellow for a foul on Nikita Parris.
Despite being a player down, Norway equalised after Roebuck’s error.
A probing long ball forced the goalkeeper off her line but she missed the clearance, allowing Maanum to reach the ball first and slot home in the 80th minute.