Norway clinch fifth in last second of extra time
It was a fifth-place match with more than just the final ranking at stake, and it was Norway who ended their EHF EURO 2022 campaign on a high as they secured a memorable win over Iceland, which also booked their place at next year’s World Championship. It took 70 minutes to find a winner in the encounter, with Norway back Harald Reinkind delivering the decisive goal to secure the one-goal victory.
Iceland are left waiting to take their first official win against Norway since 2016. Norway’s victory in the opening match on Friday in Budapest Handball Arena took their record to five wins against Iceland in the overall mutual history between the sides.
Norway were surely pleased to avoid another extra time loss, after their brilliant semi-final display at the EHF EURO 2020 when they were in Iceland’s position, being defeated by one, and Croatia went on to the final.
5/6 PLACEMENT MATCH
Iceland vs Norway 33:34 (27:27) (12:16)
- regular time finished with the score level at 27:27 and in the decisive extra-time period, the final blow came from Norway right back Harald Reinkind, who netted from 10 metres with one second to go
- Norway were in the driving seat until late in the game, with a four-goal lead at the break. Iceland stayed close and equalised at 24:24 in the 49th minute then at 25:25 in the 53rd, and finally took the advantage for the first time since the opening at 27:26 in the 59th
- prior to the 59th minute, Iceland had the lead only once in the match, at 2:1 in the fourth. Apart from that, Norway always had the upper hand in regular time, although the difference changed to as narrow as one and as great as four — until Iceland finally levelled in the dying stages
- Iceland’s 19th goal, when Grundfos Player of the Match Ómar Ingi Magnusson netted for 19:22 in the 42nd minute, was their 2,000th at the EHF EURO
- after 10 goals against Norway, Iceland right back Magnusson finished with a total of 59 goals at the EHF EURO 2022 and is the top scorer at this point — but he will likely be passed on the final weekend, with Sweden’s Hampus Wanne on 41 goals and Denmark’s Mikkel Hansen on 40 plus some other semi-finalists not too far behind
Norway book 18th World Championship appearance
The win on Friday took Norway to the World Championship for the fourth straight time and 18th participation overall. Norway’s appearances at the World Championship have been sporadic, with some gaps of several years between blocks of participations.
In 2017, they returned to the global event after missing the previous two editions but after their breakout performance at the EHF EURO 2016, where they reached the semi-finals for the first time in history. Norway then made it to the final of the World Championship two consecutive times, but lost both trophy matches to the tournament hosts — France in 2017 and Denmark (co-hosts alongside Germany) in 2019.
We expected a tough game because Iceland have an impressive team, we had to fight till the end. Today we showed our real character, and we could win this match. We were disappointed not to reach the semi-final, so it was not easy to motivate ourselves. We talked about that a lot and decided to look forward, so finally, we managed to come back from that.
We were a little bit too passive in defence and we conceded lots of goals from the pivot position in the first half, but we talked about it and we came out to the second half with a different mentality. We were more aggressive, controlled the game and we had some saves from the goalkeepers as well, while we found solutions to score in attack.