Norway go big against Islamic Republic of Iran and progress to main round

05 Dec. 2021

Norway go big against Islamic Republic of Iran and progress to main round

Norway recorded one of the largest wins in their history at the IHF Women’s World Championship, 41:9, against the Islamic Republic of Iran, subsequently progressing to the main round of the competition, after sweeping their opponents in the first two matches.

Islamic Republic of Iran vs Norway 9:41 (3:22)

For the first four minutes of the game, Iran were truly living the dream, as the underdog managed to take the lead for the first time at the IHF Women’s World Championship, exactly against one of the most decorated teams in history, who have won the competition three times and won 10 medals.

It was, of course, just a dream, but it was enhanced by another excellent outing from goalkeeper Fatemeh Khalili Behfar, the hummel Player of the Match, who ended the first half with seven saves, after an outstanding outing two days ago against Romania, when she stopped 18 shots.

The 2:1 score line will surely be a pride for the Iranian team, yet Norway, who were by far superior in any metric during the game, woke up and finished the first half with a 21:1 run, conceding only one goal in the last 27 minutes.

The recipe was basically the same Norway apply in every game they take part in, a strong defence, followed by some superb fast breaks, converted by their pacey wings or line players.

In total, Norway scored 10 of their 22 goals in the first half via fast breaks, with the hummel Player of the Match from their first game against Kazakhstan, left wing Camilla Herrem, topping the scoring charts with five goals.

There was no stopping Norway in the second half, while Iran doubled their tally from the first half in the 53rd minute, as only three Iranian players managed to score at least two goals in the game.

The gap ballooned to 32 goals in the end, but it was not the largest win ever for Norway at the IHF Women’s World Championship, nor even the largest at Spain 2021. 

For Iran, though, the steep learning curve has proved invaluable, despite the large difference, 41:9. They did score nine goals, led the game at one point and even embarked on a 3:0 unanswered run at the end of the game.

The straightforward Norwegian win means that the reigning European champions have now secured their main round berth, with the second win in as many games at Spain 2021. They will bring at least two points in the next round, with the potential of adding two more on Tuesday, when Norway face Romania in Castelló.

On the other side, in their maiden tournament at the world handball flagship competition, Iran will play for a place in the main round in the last match day against fellow Asian rivals, Kazakhstan.

hummel Player of the Match: Fatemeh Khalili Behfar, Islamic Republic of Iran

Photo: RFEBM / Á. Bermejo