14/01/2020

Norway beat Portugal to take two points into the main round

GROUP D REVIEW: Thanks to a strong defence in the second half, Norway sealed a perfect record in the preliminary round

Norway finish the preliminary round top of group D after beating Portugal. Photo © Axel Heimken / kolektiff

Despite Portugal and Norway having secured their ticket to the main round after round 2, the game between the top two teams in group D was still important as the winner of the game would take two points to Malmö to begin the main round.

Portugal led the record prior to this game, having won three times against Norway, while the EHF EURO 2020 co-hosts had only come out victorious twice.

  • Portugal lost their first game in the EHF EURO 2020 tonight while Norway scored the maximum of six points in the preliminary round
  • both teams will now travel to Malmö for the main round, where Norway will begin with two points
  • best scorer of the game was Norway’s Magnus Jondal, with seven goals, while Portugal’s Antonio Areia scored five
  • player of the Match was Norway’s goalkeeper Torbjoern Bergerud, who saved 12 shots for a 32 per cent save efficiency

GROUP D

Portugal vs Norway 28:34 (14:16)

Having many players who play in the same club is often an advantage when you are running a national team. And Norway highlighted that in the first half, SG Flensburg-Handewitt players scoring nine of the first 13 goals for Norway.

Magnus Röd was the most prolific, netting five times to give his team its first four-goal advantage after 16 minutes.

Portugal fiercely fought back, though, using their seven against six offence to find open shots. And even if Torbjoern Bergerud saved some of his opponents’ opportunities, at half-time, Norway were only two goals ahead (16:14).

The equation became too hard for Portugal to resolve after the break. Norway had found the solution to stop their opponents’ offence and seemed unstoppable on fast breaks. Not conceding a goal for seven minutes, Norway broke away on the scoreboard, leading by seven after 38 minutes (22:15).

Despite Portugal trying their best to come into the game, the deficit was too big for them to complete. Especially since Norway, backed up by 9,069 spectators, seemed to play without feeling any pressure.

Finally winning by six goals, 34:28, Norway could celebrate their qualification with their fans to the main round.

Left wing Magnus Joendal gave the Trondheim crowd some of the credit for their win.

“You can’t lose when your fans are pushing like this. We’re sad to leave Trondheim but, in the meantime, it means that we have progressed to the main round, which is why we wanted. It’s even better to do it with the two points," he said.

His coach Christian Berge praised Portugal's performance..

"This is the best team we have played in a while, and I mean it. They’ve beaten France, it says everything about their quality," he said.

written by Kevin Domas / jh