Spanish dream of lifting their first EHF Euro trophy in history, came one step closer to becoming realityas ‘Hispanos’ managed to secure a late comeback against rampant Norway.‘The Vikings’ showed a fine example of Scandinavian handball tonight, as theytook Spain to the swordwith 7 goals from the line-player Myrhol. His goal-scoring record was matched by his Spanish counterpart Canellas, who found his range going into the second half. Last minutes of the game have seen a big fight at both ends but Norway didn’t have any more tricks up their sleeve as the score stood at27-25 for Spain.
Spain opened the game well, with 8:4 in the first 12 minutes of the game.; courtesy of Barcelona winger Thomas who scored 4 goal early into the match. Norway kept playing as Myrhol brought them within reach with his goal in 18th minute. That was as close as Norway could get in the first half being four goals apart at the interval; 12:8 for Spain at the break.
Second half saw Spaingo to a five-goal advantage thaks to Andreu; goalkeeper Sierra should also be credited as the kept most of Hansen’s shots away from his goal. Lindboe brought back the one-goal deficit, as a turnover from Canellas granted him a fast-break
Bjornsen put the score back on level terms at 15:15 with a penalty, 40 minutes in. Hansen was struggling no more, as he nets his team the lead, with 15:16. Two clear-cut chances from Tvedten denied as his replacement LIndboe sets the score at 16:17. Norways’s first two-goal lead came from Lokkebo, with 15 minutes to play, it was 16-18 in favor of ‘The Vikings’.
Aalborg-based goalkeeper, Erevik earned himself his 18th save of the match, keeping a penalty from Thomas. Hansen comes to play once again, delivering a two-goal lead for Norway with 10 minutes left until the final whistle. The Norwegians won’t be counting chickens just yet, as the Spanish variety in defense (5-1) did wonders to get them back into the game. Errors came from the Norwegian defense, allowing Spain to score 4-1 run, mainly thanks to Canellas’ efforts from the 7-meter line. Canellas brought the difference back to one for his team, replacing Thomas as the penalty taker;23:22.
Goals came from Thomas Andreu And Canellas, contested by Tonesen and Kjellingto se Norway back with a chance of taking something from this game in the last minute, with 26-25. Coach Hedin was reluctant to push his defense forward in the last thirty seconds, thus depriving his team a chance of taking one point.It was Ugalde who sealed their faith with two seconds remaining on the clock, making it 27-25 in favor of the World Champions.After this win, Spain is through to the Main Round, but will battle for the top of he group in a direct duel with Iceland, while Norway will seek their chance in match against Hungary on Saturday.
TEXT: NEMANJA SAVIC