08 Dec. 2019
Norway found themselves behind by five goals early in their first main round match, but fought back to take the lead by the end of the opening half before controlling the second to collect the victory against Denmark.
With the result, Norway moved up to four points on the Group I table, where they now stand level with the Netherlands, while Denmark stayed on one point in sixth place on the table.
Norway vs Denmark 22:19 (12:9)
Denmark enjoyed a very promising start to the match, streaking ahead with five unanswered goals that prompted a time-out from Norway coach Thorir Hergeirsson after just five minutes. Whatever Hergeirsson said during the pause must have perfectly suited his team, as they immediately began to close the gap when the match resumed.
In goal for Denmark, Sandra Toft made several saves in the opening minutes and had many important stops on clear chances. When she saved a fast break against Norway captain Stine Oftedal in the 15th minute, Toft kept Denmark in front 7:4 – but the 2015 world champions were nevertheless on track to decrease the distance.
Norway keeper Silje Solberg started to steal the spotlight from Toft as the clock ticked on, paving the way for her team’s comeback. Denmark held on for some time however, still with the lead at 6:8 in the 20th and 8:9 in the 27th. It was thanks to some critical goals from the powerful back-court shooters Emilie Hegh Arntzen and Silje Waade that Norway drew level. Arntzen later secured the victory with her fifth strike, taking Norway to a 22:19 lead with one minute to play.
Once they equalised, Norway had a much stronger end to the half, pulling in front with a counter attack converted by Kari Brattset and quickly creating a more comfortable advantage of three goals in time for the break. The second half therefore saw Denmark fighting to level the score, but the closest they could come was one goal.
The last time Denmark saw real hope was at 16:15 in the 42nd minute, but Norway soon reopened the clearer lead and held steady at two to three goals in front. With some important saves from Solberg in the last minutes, the record EHF EURO champions made the most of their chances to create the deciding advantage.
hummel Player of the Match: Silje Solberg, Norway