Ipswich Town 1-4 Fortuna Dusseldorf: Norwood on target but Blues well-beaten in Interwetten Cup opener
- Credit: Archant
James Norwood was on target within four minutes of his first Ipswich Town appearance as the Blues lost their Interwetten Cup opener to Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Norwood's neat finish brought his side level after just four minutes following Oliver Fink's opener for a side which finished 10th in last season's Bundesliga.
Town's newest striker produced flashes of what he is all about, showing good movement, commitment and the eye for goal which prompted Paul Lambert to make his move for a player who scored 32 goals for Tranmere last season.
The striker also showed his combative side, earning a yellow card towards the end of the game as a long-running battle with Mattihas Zimmermann turned into a shoving match.
Norwood linked up well with Emyr Huws, who played another 45 minutes as a No.10 on his comeback from injury, but the Blues were undone by some incisive attacking from the German top-tier side and will not be happy with some of the goals they conceded.
Erik Thommy scored twice, with his second coming from a Bartosz Bialkowski error, before Ghanaian international Erik Tekpetey added number four as the Blues failed to clear inside their own box.
The Blues will now play either SV Meppen or Utrecht in the third-place play-off.
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Lambert's men were behind within three minutes as a ball in from the left wing from Matthias Zimmermann caught Luke Woolfenden out, with Fortuna veteran Oliver Fink ghosting in to head past Bialkowski.
The response was almost immediate from the Blues, though, and after Norwood poked the ball into the back of the net with a lovely finish, the Ipswich supporters began chants of 'Norwood's on fire, your defence is terrified'. The hope must be that this is the first of many.
The new striker continued to be involved as he led the line alone, with support from Emyr Huws in the No.10 slot and Jack Lankester and Armando Dobra out wide, with the former Tranmere man furious that he wasn't awarded a penalty after having his shirt tugged in the box.
He continued to make his point to the referee and Fortuna players but remained an outlet to his team, with Huws looking to slip him away on two occasions.
Bialkowski will not be happy when he sees Fortuna's second again, with the Pole looking to take his eye off the ball as Thommy's shot squirmed under him to give the German's the lead again.
It was 3-1 when Fortuna broke following a Blues attack, with Bernard Tekpetey beating Cole Skuse and Tristan Nydam down the left flank and pulling the ball back for Tommy to find an open net.
Toto Nsiala left the game with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Bailey Clements, with the Blues getting a foothold in the game but still finding their higher-level opponents tough to handle.
Number four again came down the left, with Clements caught out and the Ipswich defence struggling to clear the bouncing ball before Tekpetey fired home.
Bialkowski made a good save to keep the score at four, clawing a Tekpetey cross out at his near post, and that's how it ended as the Blues were sent towards the third-place play-off.
Ipswich Town v Fortuna Dusseldorf: Bialkowski; Donacien, Woolfenden, Nsiala (Clements 16), Nydam; Skuse, Huws, El Mizouni; Dobra, Lankester, Norwood