Socceroos put to the sword by Kamara hat-trick

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Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Bert van Marwijk’s first game in charge of Australia ended in defeat as the Socceroos were beaten 4-1 by Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion on Friday.

Having been appointed as the successor of Ange Postecoglou at the start of the year, and with the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, it initially looked as though Van Marwijk’s reign would get off to a positive start.

19 minutes in, Jackson Irvine escaped his marker to meet Aaron Mooy’s pinpoint corner with a bullet header into the back of the net.

However, the hosts equalised six minutes after the half-hour mark after brilliant play by Mohammed Elyounoussi, who tore down the left and laid the ball back for Ola Kamara to fire into goal.

Three minutes after the restart, Norway edged ahead when a left-wing freekick by Stefan Johansen found Tore Reginiussen, and the centre-back made no mistake in sending a towering header past Mathew Ryan.

A third goal for the Norwegians arrived in the 57th minute when Ryan sent a poor clearance straight to Markus Henriksen, who immediately played in Kamara for a clinical first-time finish into the bottom corner.

And, in the second minute of injury-time, Kamara completed his hat-trick as he skipped inside Milos Degenek and bent a fine effort past Ryan to pile on the misery on the Socceroos.

An even tougher test now awaits Van Marwijk and his charges on Tuesday in the form of Colombia.

 NORWAY: Rune Jarstein, Omar Elabdellaoui, Kristoffer Ajer, Tore Reginiussen, Birger Meling, Mohammed Elyounoussi (Iver Fossum 87’), Markus Henriksen, Fredrik Midtsjo (Martin Odegaard 78’), Stefan Johansen, Ola Kamara, Bjorn Maars Johnsen.

AUSTRALIA: Mathew Ryan, Bailey Wright (Aleksandar Susnjar 52’), Mark Milligan, Milos Degenek, Aziz Behich, Aaron Mooy, Mile Jedinak (Massimo Luongo 61’), Mathew Leckie (Nikita Rukavytsya 85’), Jackson Irvine, Dimitri Petratos (Robbie Kruse 74’), Andrew Nabbout (Tomi Juric 67’).