High-octane Norway set records against Poland
Norway struggled mightily during the preliminary round in Košice, but found their rhythm early against Poland and never looked back, taking their second win in a row at the EHF EURO 2022, 42:31.
The Scandinavian side, who scored the largest number of goals in a single game at the EHF EURO and tied their largest win ever in the competition, tied Germany, Russia and Sweden at two points in the standings, while Poland are the only team in group II in Bratislava to remain at zero points.
Poland vs Norway 31:42 (15:21)
- missing only five shots and boasting a superb 81 per cent attacking efficiency in the first 30 minutes, Norway scored both their highest amount of goals in a single game at the EHF EURO, three more than the previous record set against Austria in 2018, and the largest number of goals in a single half, 21
- this also equalled Norway’s biggest-ever win in history in the competition, alongside the 11-goal drubbings against Russia in 2008 and Austria in 2018. Two of their biggest three wins have come in 2022
- playing his 30th game at the EHF EURO, Norwegian back Sander Sagosen became the 20th player in history to hit the 150-goal milestone in the competition, after scoring eight times in the first half
- with his 10-goal outing against Poland, left wing Sebastian Barthold, the Grundfos Player of the Match, jumped to second place in the top goal scorer standings, with 28 goals, eight fewer than the leader, Dutch right back Kay Smits
- this was the fifth-highest scoring game in history at the EHF EURO, only four goals shy of the all-time record, 77 goals, and the highest-scoring match since Denmark and France combined for 73 goals
Sagosen’s uptick means Norway are back in business
Coach Christian Berge underlined the need for cohesion, team spirit and clearer minds in attack and, just from the start, Norway delivered what they were asked for. It was an early 5:0 run, sparked by three goals in a row from left wing Sebastian Barthold that prevented Poland to score that really turned the game on its head.
With games against Germany, Sweden and Spain following, Sagosen’s form is picking up at precisely the right moment. The top goal scorer of the EHF EURO 2020 has scored 16 goals in the last two games, after managing a meagre total of seven in the first two matches in the preliminary round. Surely, Norway will face more difficult opponents, but they really put in a performance for the ages this evening in Bratislava.
We played a fast game, and we ran as we wanted to run. It is easier for us to use our strengths by running than in one-again-one in attack. We wanted to run the whole game and we did that very well. We had talked a lot about improvements after the first stage, and today everything came out, it was much better than before.
Norway had a really good defence and was really strong in counter attacks. We were too weak in running back and conceded too many easy goals. Our match was not good, Norway played on a high level.