Kyle Lafferty: Nightmare Norway debut as striker sent off before Sarpsborg blow two goal lead
Kyle Lafferty endured a nightmare start to life at new club Sarpsborg 08 on Sunday.
The striker was booked for a foul just 15 seconds into the game and was then dismissed with 20 minutes left on the clock.
To make matters worse, his struggling Sarpsborg 08 side had looked to be cruising to a much-needed three points, 2-0 up at home to Viking when the red card was issued, before leaking two late goals to draw 2-2
Lafferty's first booking was for a foul as he went up for a duel with Viking's Runar Hove. The Viking coach Kristoffer Løkberg, however, was adamant that it should have been a straight red.
"I think it's very ugly," he told Norwegian outlet VG. "A great, strong player like Hove does not lie down for no reason. If it is judged as a blow, it is strange it does not turn red. How's that yellow card? Either it is nothing, or if it is elbow, it is red card."
Løkberg does admit that Lafferty's second booking, which arrived as he rounded the goalkeeper and went to ground, was harsh.
"It must be possible to fall without a yellow card," he said.
Lafferty, having shown the home fans his worth by winning a series of headed duels, was still given warm applause by his home fans as he left the pitch.
He did not wish to speak to the Norwegian press after the game.
Victory would have ended a 10 match winless run for Sarpsborg but, once Lafferty was dismissed, Viking roared back with two goals in the final five minutes to snatch a point. The draw was enought to lift Sarpborg above Strømsgodset on goal difference but it means they are still three points behind third-bottom Ranheim as they battle to escape the two automatic relegation places.
Belfast Telegraph Digital