Through an impressive performance in the last 25 minutes, Norway turned an equal Scandinavian derby at home against Sweden into a nine-goal win, as the third round of Men’s EURO CUP 2020 matches took place on Thursday night.
In Dornbirn, Slovenian Ales Pajovic had a fine debut as national coach for Austria, who earned their first points in the tournament through a surprising win against European champions Spain.
EHF EURO CUP
Norway vs Sweden 35:26 (15:16)
Sweden managed to follow Norway for the first 35 minutes in Sör Amfi, Arendal, the home ground of Norwegian league winners ØIF Arendal. Then the 2,356 spectators saw Norway run away to a big win.
The match started as equally as games between these neighbours often do. Only once, when Sweden were leading 5:3, did more than one goal separate the teams. The half-time score still reflected the equality between the squads very well.
Soon into the second half, though, Norway took control. From a deficit of 16:17, the home team went ahead 23:18 and a bit later 29:20. Norway even pulled 10 goals clear before winning by nine.
With 11 goals, left wing Magnus Jøndal made his strong contribution to the clear Norwegian win. Norway are now on four points, while Sweden stay on two.Austria vs Spain 29:28 (14:11)
In coach Ales Pajovic’s first match in charge of the Austria team, they managed to stun Spain, winning a thriller against the ruling European champions.
Austria had the upper hand for most of the first half in the Eishalle Messestadion, Dornbirn. The home team were leading by two goals on several occasions, and towards half-time, they even pulled ahead by three.
From the start of the second half, Spain seemed to be changing the course of the game, as their aggressive defence started to pay off. The European champions equalised at 14:14 then created a two-goal lead soon after, but Austria came back and took another two-goal advantage.
As Gerald Zeiner made it 29:27 with less than two minutes left, and goalkeeper Thomas Bauer saved the next two Spanish shots, the match was decided. The win was Austria’s first in the tournament, while Spain lost their first points.