TOKYO / OSLO (VG) (Norway – France 32-29) They were in danger of being eliminated from the Olympics. But Sander Sagosen and the handball boys fought back and secured the quarterfinal spot before it caught fire between Sagosen and the French.
1 in 5Photo: Bjorn Steinar Delebekk
Aftenposten collaborates with VG-sporten. Therefore, as a reader of Aftenposten, you also get articles and services created by VG.
Denmark or Egypt are the most likely opponents on Tuesday.
– Then it’s delicious. We are better hitting from below than holding the favorite label. We have to play without thinking about the consequences, says Sagosen after the victory and the winner of the group.
Norway had the knife to the throat to advance from the group stage at the Olympics. France had won all four of its matches and was ready for the quarter-finals.
The handball boys won a difficult match and just before the final signal, it narrowed between Sagosen and the French players. Sagosen had to be picked up by Harald Reinkind. He was knocked down in the last attack, fell to the ground at high speed and ended up pushing with several French players.
Folkebørsen: the breakthrough
– It wasn’t surprising that he was involved. I didn’t see what happened. But there is a lot of adrenaline, says national team manager Christian Berge after breakthrough is assured.
– It means everything, says string player Petter Øverby to VG.
– We had put ourselves under pressure. I think we had to win or play a draw today to go to the quarterfinals. It’s never nice to go into matches with such pressure, but we delivered when it mattered most, captain Bjarte Myrhol tells VG after his clearly best Olympic match. The 39-year-old scored four goals.
– I think we look in a completely different way than we have done before in the championship, says Sander Sagosen to VG. He took tremendous shooting responsibility, scored seven goals, served 13 scorers, but failed to erase it all.
– My role is to take responsibility. If I miss a shot, I know that almost the ball will enter the goal. I can’t do shit with shots that have already been missed. I completely agree. There is too much boom. It’s annoying, Sagosen says of the nine shots that missed the goal, including two penalties.
– How does it feel to be here with a place in the quarterfinals instead of depending on help?
– It is day and night. We are doing this to win handball matches. It is very delicious. I am proud of how we have held up over the past few days. Now we are in the quarterfinals and then we are on an equal footing with the other teams. We’ll see who we meet, Sagosen says.
– Norway was the best team. It’s a great team. They played poorly against Germany, but we knew they would give everything they had today, French player Nedim Remili tells VG.
Christian O’Sullivan lifted Norway in the match, but had to leave with a hand injury. He’s been sent in for an X-ray. Physical therapist Harald Markussen says the external thumb joint came loose and he struggled to regain it.
– If there is also skeletal damage, it is more serious and takes longer, says Markussen to VG.
– How is the possibility of him playing more in the Olympics?
– If there is no skeletal damage, the possibility exists. We won’t come to that conclusion until we have all the cards on the table, says Markussen.
– He himself was very calm and did not need painkillers. If it means now, it is positive, but it is just speculation.
Magnus Abelvik Rød also had to leave with injury after receiving a blow to the jaw. But Magnus Fredriksen and Harald Reinkind came in and made great contributions to the victory with good attacking play towards the end.
– It was fun. I’ve been in the Bundesliga for a few months. They have made me so much better. The level of the national team is not much higher anymore and the physics have improved. I’m not so easily moved, says Fredriksen, who went to German Wetzlar from Elverum a year ago.
– We agreed that we have to give a little more f …., says Harald Reinkind after scoring two of the last goals of the match.
The teams closely followed each other in a fast-paced opening, with only one goal remaining before Sagosen beat Norway 11-9 after just 20 minutes. Kevin Gulliksen increased to a three-goal lead shortly after.
The right wing missed like Sander Sagosen and Magnus Jøndal on penalty kicks, but otherwise made all five shots in the game.
– It is great to take care of the opportunity in a situation in which we have to act. It may be good for Jørnsen to get relief, says the 24-year-old from Oslo, who was told in the locker room just before the game he had a chance at the vice-captain’s expense with 146 caps.
Folkebørsen: the breakthrough
The penalty shootout crisis was immediately unraveled in the second half, when O’Sullivan scored Norway’s fifth penalty of the game even before the minute was up in the second half. The same man imposed another penalty.
But O’Sullivan had to leave injured in the 38th minute. So Sagosen took responsibility for the mark and scored on two penalties at the end.
Norway may be number three and four in the group. They finish in 4th place if Germany beat Brazil in the next match in the Yoyogi Olympic area. This means that Norway will face the winner of the second group on Tuesday.
It is likely to be Denmark, but Mikkel Hansen & co. he meets Sweden at 14.30 Norwegian time. With the Danish defeats, Denmark, Egypt and Sweden end with the same score and the difference of mutual goals between them can decide who will be the opponent of Norway.