The match was tight and balanced in the first half. It ended 13-13 after a goalkeeping duel (Lunde started for Norway) could not separate the teams.
Sweden had taken a 15-13 lead early after the break but three quick goals from Stine Ruscetta Skogrand, Sunniva Næs Andersen (his first score in three attempts) and Vilde Mortensen Ingstad meant within minutes Norway had secured the scoreline 20-18 management.
In that period, the Lunde goalkeeper also played very well.
Two or three hours before kick-off, he knew he was going to start the game. Silje Solberg-Østhassel was substituted, but came on for short time and made several important saves.
– Silje is playing fantastically (so far) in the EC, but I always wanted to play, Lunde told Norwegian media.
– We’ve been waiting for three days. Then Katrine made some important saves, said Nora Mørk.
– We are very happy that we managed to get the win. We’ve talked a bit about how it falls behind in games like that and you don’t have flow all the time. “It has stressed us out in the past,” national team manager Thorir Hergeirsson told Viaplay.
– We closed well again in the second half, he continued.
Norway did not let go of the hold they secured at 20-18. Sweden made a rather desperate effort in the dying minutes, but it was not enough. 42-year-old Lunde continued with the save towards the final signal. He was voted the best in his field by the jury in the hall.
Henny Ella Reistad became Norway’s top scorer with seven goals from eleven shots.
Sweden held Norway to 30-30 in the WC last year. Sweden are the only team at the World Cup not to lose to Norway.
Denmark beat Croatia 26-17 on Saturday. This means Denmark are guaranteed a semi-final place if they beat Norway on Wednesday.
Team Norway met Slovenia two days earlier, and the Slovenian team were fully engaged in the battle for the semi-tickets at home. The result in the group is still unclear, but Norway has a very strong position. Victory against Slovenia deserves to be a safe semi-final place for Norway.
Norway’s previous EC defeat was against Romania in 2018. After that, Norway have played 15 times and won all 15.
The European Championship has been a Norwegian affair for many years. There have been a total of eight Norwegian gold medals with the first title in 1998. This was followed by wins in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2020.
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