Nations League: Haaland scores again but Sesko steals the show as Slovenia stun Norway

RB Salzburg teenager, a transfer target for Europe's top clubs over the summer, sets up equaliser and scores stunning winner

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Erling Haaland scored his 21st international goal in just his 22nd appearance for Norway on Saturday night, but it was another exciting young striker who stole the limelight as Slovenia fought back to claim a 2-1 Nations League win in Ljubljana.

Manchester City striker Haaland, continued his prolific start to the season by firing Norway, after a lengthy VAR check, into the lead shortly after the restart. It was Haaland's 15th goal of the season, coming in 11 games for club and country.

However, Slovenia, who entered this League B Group B match bottom of the table, fought back against the group leaders through Panathinaikos forward Andraz Sporar, who turned in Benjamin Sesko's low cross, before the highly-rated RB Salzburg striker went from provider to scorer with a stunning long-range volley to win the game for the hosts.

Sesko, 19, had reportedly been attracting interest this summer from some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea, but will join Bundesliga side RB Leipzig at the end of this season.

Mitrovic treble guides Serbia past Sweden

A hat-trick from Aleksandar Mitrovic set Serbia on course for an easy 4-1 win over Sweden in their Nations League B Group 4 match on Saturday to set up a winner-takes-all clash in their final game against Norway in Oslo on Tuesday.

Norway and Serbia top the standings on 10 points, with the Norwegians in pole position thanks to a 1-0 win in Belgrade earlier in the campaign, while the Swedes will need to beat Slovenia in Stockholm to avoid relegation to League C.

Sweden took the lead against the run of play through Viktor Claesson in the 15th minute but they had no answer to the physicality of Serbia's record goalscorer Mitrovic, who headed his side level three minutes later with his 47th international goal.

Aleksandar Mitrovic took his international goals tally to 49 with a hat-trick for Serbia against Sweden. Reuters

That goal got Serbia back on track, and Sweden had goalkeeper Robin Olsen to thank on the half-hour mark when he pulled off a superb double save to deny Dusan Vlahovic and Dusan Tadic.

Mitrovic was unstoppable and he put them ahead just before the break, shrugging off the Swedish defence before heading home a corner. He completed his hat-trick three minutes after halftime, ghosting in behind Daniel Sundgren and firing home Vlahovic's pass with his left foot.

Having taken his international tally to 49, the 28-year-old Mitrovic left the fray with a sore knee two minutes after Sasa Lukic fired a superb fourth to round off the scoring.

"I took a knock, it's a bruised knee and I will go to the physios now to assess the damage but I should be fit for the Norway game," the striker told Serbia's Arenasport.

Set to face Brazil, Cameroon and Switzerland in Group G at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, the Serbs took their foot off the gas in the second half but still dominated a sorry Sweden team that looked short of both organisation and ideas.

"We dominated the game, we were compact and played the kind of football I want to see from the lads. The Norway game will be like a cup final, and we'll be ready for it," Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic told Arenasport.

Updated: September 25, 2022, 5:08 AM
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