Norway could have secured a free throw contest, but Kristian Bjørnsen’s shot was blocked.
– We have a good victory in our pocket, but we are not cynical enough. We must learn from thissaid Sagosen to NTB afterwards.
Norway led 25-24 and had the ball with seconds left on the regular time clock. Then the referee stopped the Norwegian attack for passive play. Bjørnsen was very involved there.
Spain replied and equalized at the last second. As a result, additional rounds are required.
– What can you say? It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever been through. We showed great spirit and we really won there. There is a very small margin, national team manager Jonas Wille told Viaplay and continued:
– It actually went according to plan, but then the referee passively judged there because we didn’t capitalize on that goal opportunity. But it’s not easy to judge what time it is, this is the tenth slightly wrong judgment.
In extra time, Bjørnsen (34 years old, the oldest Norwegian player) came to the rescue by leveling at 29-29 in the last second. The fun continued at a high level for another ten minutes, but Norway fell short.
Bjørnsen had one last chance, but his shot was saved by the Spanish keeper.
– I feel better. I was involved in two situations that destroyed the team, and at the moment it is very bitter, said Bjørnsen and explained:
– I thought I didn’t have a clear chance to score, but that was a huge misjudgment.
Disappointment was huge on the Norwegian side after the defeat. Norway pulled off a fine win before Spain had a chance to level at 25-25.
Instead, the Norwegian boys had to go through the play-offs along with other teams that lost from the quarter-finals. This is how positions five through eight will be distributed.
Norway had a good chance to beat Spain, but didn’t reach their full potential.
The Norwegian team took the initiative in the match from a return and took a 6-2 lead after just seven minutes. Spanish super goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas got off to a rough start, with the ball disappearing into the net behind him.
The Spaniard made several technical mistakes and didn’t shoot well early in the game. That gives Norway every chance of getting an opening they would have had difficulty dreaming of.
But the 7-3 lead became 7-7 within minutes after a bad Norwegian period. Two of Spain’s goals went into an empty Norway net.
Spain led for the first time at 10-9 (21 minutes), but Norway made it 13-12 in the first half.
The second half was balanced and exciting. Perez de Vargas was good, but Norway took the lead on several occasions. Norway goalkeepers Torbjørn Bergerud and Kristian Sæverås were also strong on some free throws.
However, that is not the case for Norwegian team Jonas Wille.
Norway comes into the match on a six-match winning streak in WC, but it is in Spain that a real first-class opponent awaits.
Spain has two bronze (WC and Olympic) and one silver (EC) from the last three championships. Nation is one of the real heavyweights in men’s handball.
Norway has four championships in a row without reaching the semifinals. The 2024 European Championship will be played in Germany. This will be Norway’s next chance to secure a medal.
Later that year, the Handball Olympics would be held in Paris and Lille. Norway is not guaranteed a place there, but could qualify via the European Championships or in the Olympics qualifying tournament next spring.
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