Norway extend winning run with important two points

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EHF / Courtney Gahan

The second day of Women's EHF EURO 2022 main round games in Ljubljana ended with Norway adding another win to their perfect record at the event, as they overthrew Sweden 27:25.

The victory took Norway up to six points on the group I table, where they joined Denmark, who beat Croatia earlier in the evening, as the group leaders. With the loss, Sweden stayed on two points. Sweden can still reach the semi-finals, but the path is more difficult considering the defeats to their Scandinavian neighbours.


Norway vs Sweden 27:25 (13:13)

  • the biggest gap in the match was two goals until the 54th minute, when Norway centre back Stine Oftedal took her team three in front, 25:22 — and after that a missed penalty from Sweden and the goal for 27:24 from Vilde Ingstad were decisive in the result
  • Sweden had the only two-goal leads of the first half, at 9:7 and 10:8 just before the 20-minute mark. No such gap was opened again until the last 15 minutes, when Norway pulled ahead first to a steady one to two-goal advantage
  • three players hit milestone EHF EURO goal marks in the opening half, with Norway captain Oftedal reaching 50 career goals in the competition and Jamina Roberts and Linn Blohm both hitting 80
  • the score line accurately reflected the game on court, as the teams played on the same level in every respect — scoring dominated by the back courts and line players, fast-paced counter attacks and restarts with 6-0 defence at the other end of the court, and almost equal save tallies for the goalkeepers — Jessica Ryde for Sweden until late in the second half and Katrine Lunde for Norway
  • the player of the match award went to Lunde, who finished with 11 saves

Semi-final race down to Scandinavian trio and home side

The results of Saturday’s matches mean Hungary and Croatia can no longer take either of group I’s semi-final tickets, and it’s down to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia.

This Scandinavian derby was therefore highly important regarding the title race, and Norway have taken an important step towards defending their title with these two points. They are the only one of the four teams yet to lose a match at the EHF EURO 2022.

Denmark’s victory over Sweden to end the preliminary round looks to have been very important in the contest for semi-final berths, but Slovenia’s win against Denmark in the tournament opener could end up destroying Denmark’s chances. Sweden have lost to both their Scandinavian rivals but beat Slovenia, while Slovenia are still to play Norway.

20221112 EHF EURO Live Blog Quote 2
We adapted well from the first half to the second half. At the end of the second half we stopped them completely. It is really important. This strengthens our self-confidence. We were waiting for this game, we knew this would be a serious test for us.
Maren Aardahl
Norway line player

Norway coach Thorir Hergeirsson: “We had to step up from our play in the preliminary round in order to be able to beat Sweden. They have had a nice development over last two years. We were pleased our players stepped up as they did and Katrine in the goal was very important for us in the last 15 minutes of the game.”

Sweden coach Tomas Axner: “Norway were better than us, but we put up a fight. Our defence was strong but it costs us a lot and this might be the answer why we lost in the end. The difference was Lunde in their goal and her period with some big saves. But it was a high-intensity game and I am proud we played such a good game against this team. We found solutions while some other teams didn’t. We try next time and train harder.”

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