Friday, January 28

Rounded out by Denmark in the dress rehearsal: – Kampprustne

(Denmark-Norway 35–25) The dress rehearsal ended with a loss number nine for Denmark in the last 10 matches. On Thursday, Sander Sagosen and Norway open the European Championship against Slovakia with a 10-goal loss in the bag.

HAPPY: Not easy to be Christian Berge, Sander Sagosen and assistant coach Jonas Wille in the last match before the European Handball Championship.

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– The Danes are better in absolutely everything, says TV 2 expert Bent Svele and calls Norway “combat-ready” five days before the European Championships. The teams should have met on Thursday, but Norway withdrew for fear of corona infection in the Danish team.

Denmark beat Norway clearly in the Olympic quarterfinals this summer and lacked seven class players when Norway was again beaten in Trondheim two months ago. The world champion showed no mercy for empty stands in Hillerød just north of Copenhagen.

The Danes took command directly. Already after 10 minutes, Mikkel Hansen & co. 8–3. An initiative they were never close to releasing.

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Norway struggled heavily in central defense regardless of whether they consisted of the starting duo Magnus Gullerud and Vetle Eck Aga or Petter Øverby, Christian O’Sullivan and Thomas Solstad.

– Norway is played out in defense, commented TV 2’s Harald Bredeli.

– Many, many, many notches must be raised defensively. The Danes do almost as they please, Svele followed up.

The Danish line player Magnus Saugstrup – teammate with Gullerud and O’Sullivan – scored six straight goals before the break. Norway’s goalkeeper Kristian Sæverås had an almost hopeless task against all the Danish free kicks and counterattacks.

He took none of the four Danish distance shots either and ended up with a save and a save percentage as low as 4 percent before the break. Denmark led 21–15.

Tough resistance: Harald Reinkind scored six against Denmark, but Norway got it tough against Rasmus Lauge and Henrik Møllgaard and the rest of the Danish winning machine.

– We are very dissatisfied with our defensive game, said Jonas Wille – Norway’s new assistant coach – halfway.

Harald Reinkind had a good period with five goals. Sander Sagosen sat mostly in the second half of the inning. European Championship debutant Erik Thorsteinsen Toft swept in three fine goals.

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But Norway was in serious trouble.

It did not get better at the start of the second half. Torbjørn Bergerud came into the goal, but let in three rushers directly. The Norwegian first choice eventually took four shots, but on the opposite side came Niklas Landin. The Kiel goalkeeper started by taking a shot in the firm grip from Kent Robin Tønnesen and saved a penalty from Alexander Blonz.

The goalkeeper duel in the second half in percent: Landin-Bergerud 56-22.

Tønnesen eventually scored four goals and Norway raised their defensive game, but Denmark won as they wanted.

– It is a pity that they have to spend 40 minutes in a dress rehearsal to get the right intensity in the defensive game, Bent Svele believes.

Norway opens the European Championship against Slovakia on 13 January and continues against Russia two days later and meets Lithuania on 17 January. Two of the four nations advance to the main round of the European Championships. The final will be played in Budapest on January 30.

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