Berlin (VG) (Norway – Poland 32-21) After three straight goals from behind, Norway took the lead and the points in their European Championship opener against Poland.
– First of all, it was important to get points. Whether she looked beautiful or ugly was not of great importance. “We got a lot of players and we couldn't have had a better opening game,” national team manager Jonas Wille told VG.
Goalkeeper Torbjørn Bergerud was voted the best player on the pitch with a save percentage of 37.5.
– A very positive start. “I'm very happy that I came into the game three goals down at the start and stayed focused,” says Bergerud.
– It was very nice to get off to such a start and finish the opening match. It's always a little special, and it's always a little uncertain where you stand and what the opponent looks like. “Very happy” with this performance in the first match, Magnus Abelvik Rød tells VG.
The digital board on the roof of the 15,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital showed an early score of 0-3 in favor of Poland. Then the Norwegian fans started to worry.
– Oh my God, they are at work – I think it will be difficult today, Goran Johansson told VG.
– This is how it is in handball. It seems very harsh when it's 0-3, but when it's 1-3 it's not So It's not scary anymore, says Jonas Willie, smiling.
The fear did not last long.
After just five minutes, Sebastian Barthold began the recovery process for Norway, before Sander Sagosen took charge of the shot.
– Sagosen was the one who led Norway to this match. It's an outstanding performance expected from him, says Fiplay expert and former great player Joachim Boldsen (45) during the break.
– It was a beautiful and enjoyable start to the tournament, Sagosin says to VG. It is believed that Norway maintained its composure in the difficult start.
Norway's biggest star never stopped trying. Although the result was average, the full-back scored six goals for the Norwegian national team. That was enough to become the top scorer of the match. At halftime, Norway led 15-10 in a game they should have won by a long margin.
Lineman Peter Øverby (31) scored Norway's first goal of the second half to the tunes of a-ha's “Take On Me” at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Germany, where the Norwegian side have become a cult favorite since their inception in the 1980s.
With a new 16-10 lead, it looked like the handball boys would also succeed in Berlin during their opening match of the European Championships.
The rest of the match provided several clear answers. Magnus Abelvik Rød, who was injured before the tournament and was rusty in the first half, had his body and shooting arm adjusted for a total of five net calls.
-The offensive game was a bit more volatile, says Jonas Wille, who calls for more speed in the passing game. The national team manager highlighted the goals of Goran Johansen and Harald Reinkind in the second half, describing them as “important”.
On the flanks, brothers-in-law Christian Björnsen and Sebastian Barthold did the job with 100 percent finishing (4/4), while goalkeeper Torbjörn Bergerud finished with a save percentage of 37.5 before Christian Severas got the chance between the sticks.
With the great victory in the opening of the European Championship, preparations begin for Saturday's match against the Faroe Islands. About 10 percent of the small archipelago's population traveled to Berlin to support the team in its first tournament.
Against Slovenia, the enthusiasm and qualities of the technically gifted team were somewhat insufficient. After 13-13 at the break, the Faroe Islands lost 29-32.
However, Norway were then warned against them – by star player Elias Skabagotto (21) and Slovenian Miha Zarabic (32). For Norway, wins also over the Faroe Islands and Slovenia (Monday) in the group stage will likely put the team in a good enough position to advance from the main round next week.
VG Stock Exchange
Norway target: Sagosen 6, Ruud 5, Barthold 4, Björnsen 4, Johansen 4, Jollerud 3, Overby 2, Jacobsen 1, Gröndal 1, Reinkind 1, Lees 1.
Torbjørn Bergerud BB 8
Christian Severas 5
Sander Sagosen 6
Sebastian Barthold 6
Henrik Jacobsen 5
Peter Overby 7
Christian Björnsen 6
Magnus Gulrud 6
Tobias Gröndahl 4
Goran Johansson 6
Christian O'Sullivan 5
Harald Reinkind 4
Simin Liz 5
Kevin Gullikson 4
Alexander Blonz 4
Magnus Abelvik Red 7
Jonas Wille (coach) 7
Reviewed by Justin Overvik
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