20210417 Romania Northmacedonia10

Romania and Norway impress in friendly tournaments

20221106 AH 3577 2 EHF / Adrian Costeiu

With only a month to go before the start of the EHF EURO 2022, teams are ramping up their preparation and finetuning the last details before the throw-off on 4 November in Montenegro, North Macedonia and Slovenia.

While some teams decided to undergo a week of preparation, others have featured in friendly games and tournaments, with Norway displaying once again superb form to win the Golden League, securing wins against Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In the debut of Florentin Pera as the new national team coach, Romania clinched the 52nd edition of the Carpathian Trophy, going unbeaten against Austria, Serbia and Spain.

  • reigning champions Norway secured wins against Switzerland (39:22), the Netherlands (27:19) and Denmark (29:27) to clinch the Golden League, with the Dutch side coming second, Denmark third and Switzerland fourth
  • Romania clinched the Carpathian Trophy, after a draw against Austria (32:32) and two wins against Serbia (26:20) and Spain (25:23), in a four-team friendly tournament played at home, in Bistrița
  • Rapid’s left back Sorina Grozav was named both the MVP and the top scorer of the Carpathian Trophy, having been instrumental in Romania’s win, with 19 goals
  • Olympic champions and the silver medallists at the EHF EURO 2020, France, secured two wins against Germany in Metz, 34:30 and 30:29, with right wing Alicia Toublanc scoring 11 goals and centre back Grace Zaadi adding seven
  • co-hosts Slovenia went undefeated against Hungary, taking a 21:19 win in the second game, after the first one ended in a stalemate, 22:22, as left wing Tamara Mavsar scored 14 goals
  • Montenegro and Croatia did not play friendly matches, while North Macedonia lost a friendly against the Norway B team 37:27

Final preparations on the way

Norway had some high-profile absentees in Stine Oftedal, Camilla Herrem and Kari Brattset Dale, while Nora Mørk only played against Switzerland, but they still secured the win in the Golden League, adding victories against Denmark and the Netherlands, with another strong defensive outing, which saw them concede only 68 goals in three matches.

Henny Reistad scored 18 goals, line player Vilde Ingstad added 14 goals, while Veronica Kristiansen put 11 goals past their opponents, as Norway cruised past their opponents. The Netherlands also saw some excellent handball to clinch the second place, against hosts Denmark, as Per Johansson’s side secured a clear 30:22 win in the first match of the tournament.

Boosted by a 19-goal tally from Sorina Grozav and some great goalkeeping from Yuliya Dumanska, the best goalkeeper in the tournament, Romania also clinched the Carpathian Trophy, despite some growing pains and a lack of impetus in attack.

Grozav looks likely to be a key part of the team in the back line, as Serbia finished second, Spain third and Austria fourth in the tournament which took place in Bistrița.

The players will be back at their clubs for the next three weeks, before the national teams are due to join once again at the end of the month, as the EHF EURO 2022 starts on 4 November.

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