Mighty Norway enter hot streak with win against Germany
While many might have ruled Norway out after they were beaten by Russia in the preliminary round, the EHF EURO 2020 bronze medallists bounced back in style and extended their winning streak to three games, overcoming Germany 28:23.
Norway tie Sweden with four points in the standings, just behind leaders Spain, who boast a six-point tally. Germany are still on two points after losing both games in the main round in the Ondrej Nepela Aréna in Bratislava.
Germany vs Norway 23:28 (12:14)
- the turning point of the game was a 5:1 run for Norway, spurred by backs Harald Reinkind, who scored twice, and Sander Sagosen, who scored once and dished two assists, with Germany scoring one goal in 12 minutes
- Norway’s depth was impressive throughout the game. Left back Erik Thorsteinsen Toft, the alternative for Sagosen, was his team’s top scorer with seven goals, including the fastest two in the match, clocked at 132 km/h and 129.3 km/h
- goalkeeper Johannes Bitter saved nine shots in the first half, helping Germany keep in touch with Norway, but the German goalkeepers could only muster three other saves in the second half
- Norway remain the strongest attack in the competition, having scored 162 goals in the first five games, 19 more than Spain and Germany
- Germany have lost the last two games at the EHF EURO 2022 and are only one game short of their largest losing streak in history. A semi-finals berth seems further and further away
Two teams heading in opposite directions
Since losing to Russia, 22:23, in the preliminary round, Norway have won three games, scored 105 goals and conceded only 83.
But their biggest step was one which was demanded by coach Christian Berge after their only loss at the EHF EURO 2022: to play as a team. Only three of their outfield players who took the court on Friday evening did not score at least one goal, while the Grundfos Player of the Match, Erik Toft, line player Thomas Solstad and back Sander Øverjordet all had meaningful contributions.
Norway will now face Spain and Sweden in two games that will define their tournament. If they continue to deliver these type of performances, it surely is in their hands.
As for Germany, they have fought bravely, but lost their second game in a row in the main round. They limited the damage, boasting a better attacking efficiency, 64 per cent, than Norway’s 63 per cent, yet the number of turnovers was too high at nine.
It was a close game for a long time, as Germany still can count on high quality players. It took a long time, until we managed to get ahead to five or six goals. When our first row needed some rest, our second row played outstanding, they were better than the first row.
Norway deserved to win, they were the better team. We tried our best, we knew that it would not be easy. We played very well for the first 20 minutes, then we caused too many mistakes. Still, I am happy with my team, they never gave up and we tried to continue until the end.