The historic victory means that Norway can manage a draw against Sweden on Tuesday to reach the semifinals of the European Championships.
Norway had to win by scoring or more to get such a starting point. The top three teams now stand at six points each before the last round.
– We have not won in almost 25 years against Spain, so we decided to give it our all today, says Harald Reinkind in the match interview after the match.
– It was really fun to play today.
– We really wanted to win this match, he reveals further.
The Norwegian team came to Sunday’s match from a straight victory over Poland and Germany, and had gained new self-confidence after a small lame opening at the championship.
– It was crazy fun. The guys fought and fought. And then we got Spain into a track that we have not got them before, says national team coach Christian Berge.
– Good to not have to answer questions about another Spain loss?
– I have gotten a little tired of that question, so it was nice to break that line, Berge admits, who nevertheless points out that it has not been the same Norwegian crew in all these years.
Norway opened best
Norway got off to a terrific start to the match. The Norwegian guys quickly took the lead, and after a quarter of an hour of play, Norway actually led 9-5 – not least thanks to an excellent Harald Reinkind.
Erik Toft, who impressed with the shotgun against Germany, also showed himself with some hits against Spain.
The Norwegian team surprised at all by being the best team in parts of the first half and went to the break with a 14-11 lead.
– I think Spain has been exceptionally unconcentrated and made many technical mistakes. We have also been good at punishing them, NRK’s handball expert Håvard Tvedten commented during the break.
Will Norway reach the semifinals?
19 games without a win
Spain is the defending champion of the European Championships, and has not lost a European Championship match since January 23, 2018.
Then it was defeat against Slovenia on the way to Spanish gold. The Spaniards won the European Championships in both 2018 and 2020.
And Norway has not had a good history against the Spanish champions. 18 losses and a draw showed the disappointing statistics before they met in Bratislava.
The Norwegian team had not won a single match over Spain in just over 24 years (or 8825 days) before Sunday’s European Championship match. The last time Norway won a match over Spain was Sander Sagosen until he was one year old.
– I am impressed and proud of our achievement, Sagosen says to NRK.
He was also rested for periods in this settlement, as he remained in the fight against Germany.
– It’s lovely to sit here and see that the guys are doing well there. It was not my best start to the match today, he says.
– It’s lovely to live up to
There were few experts who thought in advance that Norway could actually win this match.
A satisfied Sebastian Barthold, on the other hand, predicted in advance that Norway would win. After the match, he could see that he was right.
– It’s wonderful to live up to what you see. I can only go on to say that one should win, maybe, he smiles.
– I think we will see a heroic Norway again against Sweden, he promises.
Spain came more into the game after the break, but Norway still did not let the Spaniards take over the initiative in the match. When coach Christian Berge timed out a quarter of an hour before the end, the team led 22-19.
And when the referee blew off the match, the players could cheer. They had finally beaten Spain. On the scoreboard it was 27-23.
Battle for the final
The neighbor duel between Norway and Sweden on Tuesday will probably send only one of the teams to the semifinals. Spain meets group jumbo Poland in their last match and will after all sun marks win that match.
– It will hopefully be a j …. fun match, says Vetle Ack Aga about the Sweden match.
– I bet we take them.
It is the two best teams in the group that go on, and nothing has been finally decided yet. Germany is still without the opportunity to advance to the semifinals. The same goes for Russia.
Earlier in the evening, Poland and Russia played 29.-29. Germany – Sweden ended with a victory for the Swedes 25-21.
Semi-finals, battle for 5th place and final and bronze match will be played in Budapest this weekend.