Sagosen and Rød combine for 20

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Sagosen and Rød combine for 20

January 20, 2019

MATCH REVIEW – Norway couldn’t create a reassuring distance against Egypt, who were not beaten until the very last minutes in Sunday´s second main round match at Boxen arena, in Herning.

By Peter Bruun

Main Round – Group II

Norway vs Egypt 32:28 (16:14)

Before the Match

Having lost their last preliminary group match 30:26 against Denmark, Norway carried only two points to the main round.  Still, the Scandinavians were one point better than Egypt after their draw against Hungary.

Both teams had two days of rest before their first game in the main round.

The Result

Thanks to outstanding performances of Sander Sagosen and Magnus Rød as well as a series of great saves from Torbjørn Bergerud in goal, can Norway keep dreaming of  a semi-final after a hard-fought win against Egypt.

A fast and creative Egyptian attack and a very physical defense formation, caused their opponent plenty of trouble throughout the match. And, it took Norway until the last two minutes to secure victory.

1st Half

Prior to the game, Norway’s coach, Christian Berge, had announced changes in his lineup. However, Magnus Rød was the only substitution, starting on the right back position, where Eivind Tangen usually begins.

It didn’t matter, as the lineup that Berge had chosen was not able to shake off a rather well-playing Egyptian team.

Egypt surprised Norway, taking a quick 3:0 lead, and even though coach Berge’s squad caught up (3:3) and turned the game around (12:9 and 14:11), Egypt stayed on their tales all the time.

In fact, only a series of amazing saves by the otherwise mediocre Torbjørn Bergerud in Norway’s goal, allowed the Scandinavians to take a two-goal lead at the half.

2nd Half

Christian O´Sullivan, who started as center-back in the second half, scored the first goal after the break, increasing Norway’s advantage to three once again.

As Bergerud continued to perform miracles in goal every now and then, Norway seemed to be on their way to decide the match.  Eventually, the Scandinavians went up by five (21:16), but instead of rolling over, a hard fighting Egyptian crew came back.

A red card for Karim Abdelrahim did not bother the team of coach David Davis at all, and by the 46th minute, they were only one goal behind (23:22). They even had the chance to score the equalizer, but they missed the opportunity.

Instead, Sagosen and Rød continued to fire away, as Norway’s long crosses were too much to handle for Egypt’s defense. Two more goals of Sagosen and Rød sealed the deal at  31:27.

What they Said:

Espen Christensen – Norway

“It was a tough and very physical game. We missed a lot of chances and Egypt played well, including some fast attacks and a lot of crosses, that made it difficult for us.

“I am just happy that we won. Now, it’s all about getting some rest and prepare for the match against Sweden, tomorrow. It’s a question of resting correctly, eating right, getting some ice baths etc.”

Ibrahim Elsmasry -Egypt

“Actually, we were well prepared for this game, but we made too many mistakes and missed too many chances to secure a victory.

“However, I am satisfied that we fought from beginning to the end. It’s our intention to do so in each and every match we play, not matter what’s at stake, and that’s also our plan against Denmark, tomorrow. 

What´s Next?

Norway have less than 24 hours to get ready for the Scandinavian derby against Sweden, where a victory will be critical to keep the semi-final dream alive.

Egypt will play for pride, when meeting Denmark later, on Monday night.

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