18-year-old Erling Braut Haaland had a day to remember as Norway obliterated Honduras in the U-20 World Cup, with the old hat-trick of hat-tricks.
Norway, who lost its previous two group stage matches with just a single goal across those two games, exploded for a 12-0 win over a CONCACAF side that looked hapless all tournament long. The star was Haaland who scored an incredible nine goals in the match. The RB Salzburg striker opened his account just seven minutes in, nabbed his hat-trick with a 36th minute penalty, had five goals by the 50-minute mark, and scored his last three in the final 13 minutes of the match.
Honduras also saw two players sent off in the match, most notably losing winger Axel Gomez in the 57th minute which contributed to the Norwegian goal tally. Everson Lopez also received his marching orders in second-half stoppage time, leaving Honduras to finish the game with nine men.
Haaland has been linked with a move to Manchester United in the recent past, with the 18-year-old well known to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his time with Norwegian club Molde before moving to RB Salzburg this past winter. He scored four goals for Molde in five Europa League qualifying matches last summer in late July and early August, and scored in his full Austrian Bundesliga debut earlier this month.
The 18-year-old’s father is well-known throughout Manchester United lore, as his father Alf-Inge Haaland was the recipient of an infamous Roy Keane red-card tackle in 2001 which likely contributed to the end of the Norwegian’s career.
Norway finishes third in Group C with three points, and while they can still secure passage through to the knockout stage via the third-place qualifier, they are in a very precarious position with the United States, Portugal, and Panama all able to leapfrog them with various results in their final matches.
CONCACAF has struggled mightily in the tournament, with Mexico surprisingly eliminated after losing all three matches in a tough Group A, the United States sitting third with a critical game upcoming, Honduras obliterated with a -19 goal differential through its three games, and Panama holding just one point through its first two Group E matches.