After a superb group stage for Norway, which ended in 3/3 wins and first place in the group, it was Tuesday for the main round of the EC. In the first main round match, it was a tough Spanish team that stood on the opposite half of the court.
It was even for a long time in the opening minutes of the U-guttas, and Spain gained a small advantage over Norway when they went up to a 5-3 lead after eight minutes. Jesper Røisland got off to a solid start in the match against the Spaniards, and accounted for several of Norway’s netizens.
The teams followed each other closely, and none of them managed to get the upper hand on the opponent. After the half-played first half, the score was thus completely equal at 6-6. Lineman Daniel Ryengen Ny came on for Norway halfway through the half and quickly made his mark in Norway’s attacking play with fine goals in a row.
Ten minutes before the break, Norway went into a one-goal lead for the first time in the match after a goal by Kasper Bjanes Iversen, before they went into a two-goal lead soon after. However, it did not take long before Norway’s leadership was eaten up by the Spanish. Just before half-time, it was Patrick Helland Andersen’s turn to show himself when he was substituted at right-back, where he scored three quick goals in a row and sent Norway into a 15-13 lead. Norway’s goalkeeper Henrik Ibsen was also good for Norway towards the end of the half.
The Spaniards were the best just before the break, and went into the dressing room with a 17-15 lead.
Jesper Røisland was central in Norway’s match against Spain, and scored a total of 7 goals against the Spaniards. Photo: EHF
Spain continued their great play also after the break, and three minutes into the second half the Spaniards had taken a four-goal lead at 20-16. The whites had really kicked into a new gear in the second half, and further up a seven-goal lead shortly after.
It didn’t quite go well for Norway in attacking play, as they were really punished for their technical mistakes. The Spaniards could several times throw the ball into the empty Norwegian goal as Norway played with an extra outfield player.
Spain was the better team so far in the second half. Norway was still in the game, but had a little too many technical errors to keep up. The quarter before the end, Spain thus led 28-23.
Norway’s right backs really stood out in this main round match, and stood for good performances going forward in the field, despite the fact that it did not go entirely for the team.
Five minutes before the end, Spain still had the initiative in the match, despite intermittent good performances from the Norwegian boys. The score was then 35-29 in favor of the Spaniards.
Despite good performances from several of the Norwegian players, Spain was ultimately too strong. Norway thus had to see themselves beaten 37-30.
The next match for the U-boys is already on Wednesday 10.08 at 18:00 against Sweden, who won their first main round match. Thus, they are just ahead of Norway on goal difference with their four minus goals against Norway’s six. Therefore, it will be the winner of Wednesday’s match that goes to the semi-finals. You are watching the match against Sweden EHF TV. The two best teams go to the semi-finals and finals, the others play placement matches.
Patrick Helland Anderson played a good match against Spain, and was named Norway’s best player. Photo: Svein André Svendsen
U-boys (LM04), EC U18 – Main round
Norway – Spain 30–37 (15–17)
SC Moraca, Podgorica, Montenegro
Top scorer Norway: Jesper Røisland – 7 goals
Top scorer Spain: Petar Cikusa Jilicic – 7 goals
Expulsions: Norway 3×2 min., Spain 4×2 min
See full match report.
Read more about the U-gutta.