– It’s important to celebrate joy on a day like today, Hegerberg told NRK.
It was a very special setup around a private international game against New Zealand.
Where the Pride parade was canceled after murder in Oslo, the police gave the go-ahead for the match in the national arena. Wrapped in mourning and rainbow colors, the players and spectators observed a minute’s silence before the game started.
– You will be very proud and grateful to be playing for the Norwegian national team on a day like this, Caroline Graham Hansen told NRK.
– It’s about standing together
The match was one of two warm-up games for EC, and the home side also appeared a hundred times from the start. Julie Blakstad started what would eventually become a stampede, but the New Zealand goalkeeper Victoria Esson got in the way time and time again.
Hegerberg could have scored a goal or two when he got full steam ahead in the 34th minute: The forward’s first cross was blocked, came up with the ball and finished coolly in the far corner from 16 metres.
The 26-year-old celebrated by borrowing Maren Mjelde’s rainbow-coloured captain’s armband and hoisting it towards the sky and the crowd.
– What do you have to say… When something like this happens… It’s about standing together and showing love, Hegerberg said of the celebration.
– It’s a very special day. It’s important to entertain the audience, who are there to cheer us on, said the 26-year-old.
– Matches with less debris in them
The second half was far less exciting than the first, but four minutes after extra time, Guro Bergsvand made it 2-0. The centre-back hit the ball into the net with a volley after a corner.
– It was a match with little rubble, Hegerberg admitted.
National team manager Martin Sjögren believes Norway has a lot of work to do before the European Commission.
– We created a lot. However, there are areas that we need to fix before EC. Some players need some match practice, but it’s a first step, said Sjögren, who praised Guro Pettersen’s efforts in goal.
– Will he be the one to finish in EC?
– At least he put on a very good match.
He did that despite the custom frame. Pettersen points out that you feel dread when you wake up to news like that.
– A lot of my friends and teammates are celebrating in town, so of course you get really scared. At the same time, you have to perform while you’re working, and we’re only human after all. It’s something you have to deal with as a professional athlete, says Pettersen.
“Be who you are – love who you want”
Hegerberg’s celebration is in many ways an extension of the commemoration at Ullevaal for battle begin. Here a minute’s silence was held in memory of those who died following the shootings in central Oslo.
“Be yourself – love who you want” and “Football is for everyone”, were messages commonly advertised around stadiums.
– For me, it’s easy to motivate myself to make people happy at games. “I’m proud they are cheering for Norway, and proud that they took the time to come to Ullevaal on a day like this,” Graham Hansen told NRK.
It was announced earlier that more than 16,500 tickets had been sold for the game, and it would surpass the 2000 record, when 15,762 people saw Norway meet the US before the Olympics.
In the end, 12,657 spectators turned up, and the shooting in central Oslo probably naturally kept more people at bay.
A number of elite league matches were also played this weekend. Several clubs have published rainbow colored posts on social media.
Rosenborg, who beat Kristiansund 3-1 in Lerkendal, earlier announced that pride marking would now become even more important.
– I think all of football stands together today and all of our thoughts go out to the grieving and next of kin family. It will be seen in all stadiums. I’ve seen that a few people have reported this, says the NFF Gro Tvedt Anderssen to NRK.
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