BRATISLAVA / OSLO (VG) Torbjørn Bergerud (27) has been terribly close in several championships, but this time too he should not succeed. It marked the goalkeeper after the bitter 23-24 defeat for Sweden that made the European Championship semi-final smoke.
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It was clear that Bergerud was struggling to make ends meet when he was interviewed by TV 3.
– It’s hugely disappointing. It’s very boring that it should end like this. We give the Swedes the victory, says Bergerud to the licensee.
A little later he elaborates on VG. He does not care much about the performances he delivered on Sweden’s seven meters when it ended with another semi-final slipping.
– It’s boring. It’s sour. Regardless of whether I saved penalties or not. It is terribly sour, says Bergerud to VG.
After a championship marked by injuries and illness, where he had to stand over matches in the group stage due to a blow to the head, the last chance was still to become the big hero against Sweden on Tuesday night.
Kristian Sæverås stepped in between the posts for a slightly ill Bergerud, who only came in at the Swedish seven meters. Despite minimal playing time, he really managed to make his mark on the battle over who should make it to the semifinals.
Bergerud came in and saved insane three straight from the penalty spot just after the break, but missed the last when 21-year-old Valter Chrintz decided the match 15 seconds before the end.
When asked what Norway could have done differently, Bergerud is clear in his speech:
– We are struggling more going forward today. We are well behind. I don’t think I should say much about the attacking game. Others have better competence there than me, says the goalkeeper after only 23 Norwegian goals.
Thus, the disappointment ended with the third straight championship without a semifinal for profiles such as Sagosen, Reinkind and Bergerud. Now the big question is what happens next.
Speculation abounds about whether this may have been national team manager Christian Berge’s last championship, as he is constantly connected to the job as coach for hard-working Kolstad.
– It’s heavy. It feels like we have thrown away four weeks of 2022. These are the matches we train and play for and it is terribly heavy when we do not manage what we want, says Harald Reinkind to VG.
Sander Sagosen believes they have no one else to blame but themselves.
– It’s weird. We are not good enough where it should be decided. We had everything in our own hands, had played our way into the championship, and given ourselves the opportunity in this position. And then we do not take it, Sagosen says to VG.
While Sweden will play the semifinals on Friday, Norway must be content to play to become number five.