There was never any doubt who the winner was in the 5/6 placement match at the EHF EURO 2018, as another offensive masterclass from Norway saw Thorir Hergeirsson’s in-form side crush Sweden, 38:29.
“We wanted to end the tournament with a good performance. You always remember the last game of a tournament and we did well. We conceded 29 goals, but had an amazing goalkeeper in Silje Solberg,” Hergeirsson said.
5/6 PLACEMENT MATCH
Sweden vs Norway 29:38 (14:22)
A superb 7:0 run between the 16th and the 22nd minute was the pivotal point of the game, as Norway turned the screw in defence and punished the Swedish mistakes on the fast breaks to take a 17:10 lead.
Until that point, the young Swedish side went toe to toe with the in-form Norwegians, who relied once again on Stine Oftedal and Veronica Kristiansen for a good start of the game.
But playmaker Carin Stromberg had three goals to tie the game back, 10:10, including a shot at 101 km/h which was impossible to stop. It was the top-speed shot of the match, as recorded by the tracking chip inside the iBall.
However, Henrik Signell’s side quickly faltered, as they lost their fire power in attack and Norway were cruising at half-time, 22:14.
?? 29:38 ?? A big win sees Norway finishing #ehfeuro2018 in 5th place! ?
Top speed: #iBall
2⃣ 99 km/h - Massing
2⃣ 99 km/h - Kristiansen
1⃣ 101 km/h - Stromberg@hlandslaget @NORhandball #SWENOR #handballissime pic.twitter.com/o8HeoTJ6Rh
— EHF EURO (@EHFEURO) December 14, 2018
Only one Norwegian outfield player did not get on the scoresheet, as left back Veronica Kristiansen topped the charts, with six goals.
After the break, Sweden never really got going in attack, while Norway had their fifth game with at least 30 goals scored, taking another impressive win.
“We hoped we had the energy and strength to challenge Norway, but I think the result was fair,” Sweden coach Henk Signell said. “To play Norway this late in a tournament, it is always difficult to do because of their physical standard.”
This was the fourth win in a row for Norway and many of their fans were left wondering how it would have unfolded if not for the loss against Germany in the first game of the tournament, which all but put Norway out of contention for a semi-final berth.
Despite their win, this is still Norway’s worst EHF EURO since 2000, when they finished sixth. In the last eight tournaments, the Norwegian side always played the final.