King ruled out of Norway squad to face Northern Ireland

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - San Marino v Norway - San Marino Stadium, San Marino - October 5, 2017 Norway's Joshua King gestures REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

(Reuters) - Norway striker Joshua King suffered a hamstring injury in the 8-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino and will miss the final group game against Northern Ireland on Sunday, the Norwegian FA said in a statement.

Fourth in Group C and 17 points behind leaders Germany, Norway have no chance of making next year’s finals in Russia, but they hammered San Marino on Thursday with King grabbing two goals before being substituted in the 62nd minute.

“I felt something in my hamstring during the game yesterday and with my history we’re not taking any risks,” said King, who scored 16 league goals last season and has one in seven games this campaign for English Premier League side Bournemouth.

“Myself, Lars (Lagerback, Norway coach) and the medical team discussed it and agreed that I should go home to get fit again a quickly as possible,” the 25-year-old added.

Having amassed 19 points and a seven-point lead over the Czech Republic with one game left to play, Northern Ireland are guaranteed to finish in second place in Group C regardless of the result against Norway in Oslo.

Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Ed Osmond