BRATISLAVA (VG) (Poland-Norway 31–42) Sebastian Barthold excelled. The 30-year-old scored 10 of 10 shots on goal. Today’s easiest came on a “brother-in-law care” from Kristian Bjørnsen (33).
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– It is fantastic to experience this. We are a bunch of hungry boys who want to prove what we can, says the national team’s new left wing after the super match with a new personal record in goals for the national team.
Left wing Barthold set great speed on Norway together with right wing Bjørnsen. In total, they scored 18 goals in just 19 attempts. The prettiest came on a pure family partnership between the two.
– I think the family at home is happy when we can contribute to each other, Barthold says to VG after the spectacular goal. The ball went straight from goalkeeper Kristian Sæverås to Bjørnsen who went in from the right edge and served Barthold an empty cage.
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– I also had an assist for him, smiles Barthold who is married to Bjørnsen’s sister, Line. On Christmas Eve, they had a daughter, Elea. The two brothers-in-law also play together daily in Danish Aalborg.
Kristian Bjørnsen scored eight goals for Norway for the first time in four years and 66 international caps. He scored eight last against Serbia in the European Championship 2018.
– It was delicious. Today we played a handball that suits us well, says Bjørnsen after a total of 16 counterattack goals in Poland. It is a radical progress from the group game.
– We have played three smaller matches, but know what we can do. We’ve talked about how we want to appear. Now it’s a matter of stopping talking and acting. It really happened today, says Sebastian Barthold.
– We ran a lot, relaxed our shoulders and the handbrake, he thinks.
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The Bærum boy also took the Norwegian punishments.
– It’s fun with the penalties, says Barthold who specializes in tricking penalties around the legs of the goalkeepers.
– If I had been a goalkeeper, I would have been down there. They get to be up to them. I’m happy as long as he scores, Bjørnsen smiles.
– Penalties are 90 percent about what happens in the head really. To keep “cool”. Keep focus up and heart rate down. Get the goalkeeper to move, Barthold describes himself after two goals from the penalty spot. Has scored on nine of 10 penalties so far in the championship.
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– This was like Jøndal at its best, VG suggests.
– It was a bit violent. But a wonderful experience. I look forward to the continuation, says Sebastian Barthold before the meeting with Germany on Friday night.
– He has performed at the top level for a long time now. He takes very good care of the chance he has had on the national team. We need a stable left wing, says Kristian Bjørnsen – who himself plays his ninth straight championship for the handball boys.