Co-hosts Norway impress, but with more to give
06 Dec. 2023
Just like the Olympic champions France who graced the Trondheim court in the preceding game, Norway – who have benefitted from two days of rest since moving from Stavanger – put in a blistering first half performance, clearly setting out their stall, but were unable to keep the pace going in the second.
This continental champion clash between the Queens of Europe and Africa saw the European side end with an 18-goal win and just like the French have one big foot in the quarter-finals already, sitting on six points.
Main Round, Group II
Norway vs Angola 37:19 (20:9)
For the first time at the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship, Norway found themselves behind. After three minutes they were 0:2 and they did not take the lead until nine minutes were on the clock (4:3) after they prevented Angola from scoring for five shots in the row.
Then they clicked.
Thanks to the effervescent – and player of the match – Camilla Herrem, who scored three fast-breaks in a row to make it 7:4, they had found their gear.
But, as always, it was a team effort, her strike which put Norway up 5:4 coming from a Maren Aardahl steal while on the floor, with the former beach handball European champion then able to set up the 37-year-old down court.
Just Herrem alone caused an Angolan time out with just 13 minutes on the clock, but they could do nothing as Nelson Catito saw the game slip away from him with an 8:1 scoring turnaround against his team.
Another Herrem fastbreak in the 25th minute put her side 10 up (16:6) and it was significant – her 850th senior strike for her team.
Their 20:9 half-time lead was the least the co-hosts deserved, and the stats highlighted their dominance with 10 saves, 9/9 fastbreaks taken and a 74% shooting efficiency (20/27 shots).
Angola, who welcomed back captain Isabel Guialo after illness, kept the score respectable as they searched for something, but with just four goals scored in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, their dream of qualifying through to the quarter-finals was over and Norway capitalised, racking up the goals.
Catito’s side will now use the rest of their championship as preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, while Norway will look forward to entertaining their home fans some more.
For Norway coach, Thorir Hergeirsson, he was able to start goalkeeping duo Silje Solberg and Katrine Lunde together for the first time this championship and will be hoping to welcome back the influential Kari Brattset Dale soon, after missing her second, consecutive game.
hummel Player of the Match: Camilla Herrem (Norway)