Wednesday, May 18

Handball boys’ transformation: Sagosen smashed Poland

BRATISLAVA (VG) (Poland-Norway 31-42) It went hard and slow throughout the group game. But in the first match of the main round, both Sander Sagosen and the counterattack completely took off. Never before has a team scored 42 goals in one and the same European Championship match.

Suddenly, Norway is number two in the table in the main round – the place that gives a place in the European Championship semi-final next week. The transformation was total.

Norway scored just six clean counter-attacks in three games in Košice. It totally turned around on arrival in Bratislava. Norway scored six clean counterattacks in just 19 minutes. Already at the break, Norway led 21–15.

– 21 goals in one round is tremendous, reported TV3 expert Kristian Kjelling and thought Sagosen performed far in excess. VG agrees and gives Trøndelag 10 on the player exchange.

Norway’s center has opened the European Championships with a minus in confidence.

DOMINATED: Sander Sagosen against Poland.

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Suddenly, Sander Sagosen was completely transformed. He accelerated from the start and scored two goals in the arrival phase – before Poland had established the defense – and continued with a thunderous shot in goal from long range.

The 26-year-old put tremendous pressure on Poland. Far more than the Poles were able to handle. By the first half, he had scored eight goals and served five assists.

REDEMPTION: Christian Berge hardly got a redemption

– Fantastic. He shows that he is the world’s best handball player, said Joachim Boldsen in the TV 3 studio.

But Sagosen’s spells were followed up. Christian O’Sullivan got up from the form valley and the edges Sebastian Barthold and Kristian Bjørnsen ran like crazy. While the rest of the team pressed after.

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– Finally, the whole team runs. It is extra gratifying to see Barthold and Bjørnsen, said ex-captain Bjarte Myrhol after 30 minutes with 10 goals in arrival and counterattack for Norway.

Barthold scored six before the break while Bjørnsen followed up with four. it swung by Norway. The defensive game did not work as perfectly. But Magnus Gullerud lifted several notches and Torbjørn Bergerud got up five saves.

It continued with even better defensive play after the break until Petter Øverby was sent off for the second time. But then Kristian Sæverås started rescuing.

Kristian Bjørnsen was able to counter Norwegian 10-goal lead and the match was decided before 40 minutes had been played. Poland had long ago given up even before there was a click-click in counterattack from Sæverås to Bjørnsen and finally Barthold who could put the ball in an empty cage.

Finally, Kevin Gulliksen finished with goal number 42. A pilot scoring from the right edge – served by Oppsal friend – Sander Øverjordet. The show was complete.

On Friday, Norway will face hard-hit Germany. The Germans lost Thursday 29-23 to Spain while Sweden beat Russia by the same numbers.

Thus, everything – absolutely everything – went Norway’s way the first night in the Slovak capital.

The VG exchange

Torbjørn Bergerud 5

5 saves / 18 shots

Kristian Sæverås 5

5 saves / 23 shots

Vetle Eck Aga 4

0 goals / 1 shot

Sander Sagosen BB 10

9 goals / 10 shots – 1 error

Sebastian Barthold 9

10 goals / 10 shots

Sander Øverjordet 5

0 goals / 2 shots

Petter Øverby 5

1 goal / 1 shot

Erik Thorsteinsen Toft 6

3 goals / 4 shots

Kent Robin Tønnesen 6

3 goals / 4 shots

Kristian Bjørnsen 8

8 goals / 9 shots

Magnus Gullerud 7

1 goal / 2 shots

Christian O’Sullivan 6

2 goals / 2 shots

Harald Reinkind 6

1 goal / 2 shots

Thomas Solstad 5

1 goal / 2 shots

Kevin Gulliksen 6

3 goals / 4 shots

Alexander Blonz 4

0 goals / 1 shot – 1 error

Christian Berge (coach) 8

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