wall against high speed attacks fight for the Gold medal: France against Norway
will be the composition of the final of the XX Women’s World Championship.
After France had beaten Denmark in the first semi-final, Norway left Spain
chanceless in the second semi with a clear 30:22 victory. 12 years ago
Norway vs. France had already been the final of a Women’s World Championship
with the Northern Europeans as the lucky 25:24 winner after two extra times.
Like in 2009 (23:27 against France in Nanjing) Spain missed the final. The
Iberians will face Denmark on Sunday in the Bronze final.
The match schedule for the final
Sunday 18 December:
Placement match 5/6: Russia vs. Brazil
Placement match 7/8: Angola vs. Croatia
Bronze final: Denmark vs. Spain
Final: France vs. Norway
times are local times)
Norway – Spain 30:22 (16:9)
years ago they had left the field in Nanjing with heads held low after their
20:28 semi-final defeat against Russia, now they were celebrating with their
huge crowd of spectators in Sao Paulo: Norway reached the final of the XX
Women’s World Championship after this total clear and well-deserved victory. It
will be the fifth participation in a final for the current Olympic and European
Champion. 1997, 2001 and 2007 they won the Silver medal, and 1999 on home
ground they celebrated their one and only WCh title after a high tensioned
thriller against their upcoming opponent France. Counter attacks sharp as
pinholes, pivot Heidi Löke and goalkeeper Katrine Lunde Haraldsen were the keys
to the clear success against Spain.
already started like an express. Thanks to four counter attack goals they early
took a 6:3 lead – and even a Spanish time-out could not stop them. As the
Iberians shot very weak and Norwegian goalkeeper Katrine Lunde Haraldsen saved
strong, the Olympic and European Champion extended the gap cold as ice to 10:4
in minute 17. But only five minutes later Spain was back, scoring five straight
goals to 10:9. Who thought that the match would turn, was totally wrong, as the
Norwegians re-started their powerful high speed train engines. Thanks to
outstanding pivot Heidi Löke and the weakness of Spanish attacks, the Northern
Europeans scored six straight goals to the clear half-time lead of 16:9.
re-started very nervous and hectic by missing chances in abundance – so the
distance remained clear for Norway. And as Lunde Haraldsen shut the shop
and the defence allowed Spain nearly no shots, the game was already pre-decided
in the middle of the second half. In minute 45 Norway was away with an eight-goal
margin at 23:15 and had taken full control of the game – right on the way to
their seventh victory in their eighth match in Brazil. And already six minutes
before the end the Norwegian bench started their celebrations. Top scorers in
this one-sided semi were Heidi Löke (six goals for Norway) and Macarena Aguilar
(five goals for Spain).
after the match:
Duenas, coach Spain: We failed at the start but in the second half we tried to
react. But whilst my players were very tired, the Norwegians were really good.
Norway was clearly better.
Hergeirsson, coach Norway: As Spain played well before, we had great respect
for them. But we were well prepared and absolutely focused on Spain. We managed
to do what we wanted to do, especially our counter attacks. A special thanks to
our goalkeeper Katrine Lunde Haraldsen. Despite France has to replace their top
players Mariama Signate and Alison Pineau they are still the favourite in my
opinion. They still have many top players. As both teams focus on defence,
maybe the match will end 0:0 – and then the extra time has to decide.
Aguilar, player Spain: We would have needed more than 100 per cent to beat
Norway. But we made too many mistakes.
Johansen, player Norway: We are really happy to be in the final. Our defence,
our counter attacks and our goalkeeper decided the game. It is our great
advantage that we play together since many years in the national team and also
in the clubs.