Day 1, November 1, Oslo
Denmark initiated the Golden League in Oslo to defeat France, the Olympic champions with 33-29.
A good win for the confidence of Ulrik Wilbek and his team. The Danes have tried to defeat the Olympic champions, France since the bronze medal match at the World Cup in 2007. This gave Denmark an optimal start to the tournament, which serves as preparation for the European Championship on home soil in January.
The Danes can thank BSVs right back Mads Christiansen. Christiansen, fighting for one of the last places in Wilbek’s European Championship squad, got the entire second half as the right back, and he played a key role in the Danish victory with seven scores.
But it started nowhere near as happy for Denmark. Wilbek’s troops delivered a really poor effort in the first half. The Danes were sloppy and downright distracted during most of the first 30 minutes. After 28 minutes, Ulrik Wilbek indeed had enough.
In keeping with the complete lack of intensity and atmosphere of the Telenor Arena in Oslo, the Danes were not in the right gear from the start of the match. France came quickly ahead 4-1, and the Olympic champions were at least a step ahead of the Danes throughout the first half. Nikola Karabatic and his teammates were playing with great ease and managed to go through the pierced Danish defensive every time they put just a little pace. And in the attack Mads Larsen Mensah or Bo Spellerberg could not put the game properly.
Fortunately for Denmark, then the French also had trouble finding motivation for greater lead than the 15-12 which was the final score after 30 minutes.
Denmark burned too much on the otherwise mediocre French goalkeeper Gerard.
But this was a great reminder for the Danes coach, Wilbek, who likes to change the game during the break. From the start of the second half, the team of Denmark was much more concentrated – and above all more fast paced, they took up the fight against France. Mikkel Hansen showed his impressive firepower from a distance, Michael Knudsen was strong on the line and Mads Christiansen impressive.
Therefore Denmark took over the French lead, and the team came for the first time in the match in front with 19-18. When Denmark took four goals lead 24-20, it seemed as if France gave up the fight, and that is why the game ended with four goals advantage for Danish victory with 33-29.
Norway 26-28 Croatia: Croatia celebrated against the hosts
Croatian handball team won their first match in the Bring Cup in Oslo, against the hosts Norway with 28-26 (13-13).
Slavko Goluža’s players have marked the first victory in the tournament against the Norwegians, who never had the lead in the game. Croatia missed five goals advantage in the first half, which ended 13-13, it was a match below the quality of the Croatian team, although Goluža has given equal playing time to all of the players. The best individual of the match was the goalkeeper Mirko Alilović with 15 saves, and Croatian best scorers were Igor Vori and Zlatko Horvat with four goals, while the Norwegians were led by Myrholm (6).
Bring Cup is the strongest tournament in handball ahead of the European Championship, which will be held in mid-January in Denmark.
Day 2, November 2, Oslo
Croatia 28-29 Denmark: Nothing from the revenge for Barcelona, Danes had a solution for Duvnjak and his teammates!
In the second round of Bring Cup Croatian team was defeated by Denmark in Oslo. Even Though the outcome of the match in a friendly preparation tournament does not fall into the category of serious games that are supposed to bring a sense of special sporting satisfaction, it was a tough and equal game. For something more than a friendly match we will wait a little more than two months to Euro 2014, which will be played in Denmark.
Slavko Goluza’s players against the Danes did not play brilliantly, just like against Norway in the first game of the tournament (28-26).
Although this is a preliminary tournament showdown Goluza’s and Wilbeck’s players were marked by a strong defense and a serious approach to the game in which neither side in the first half at no time made any significant advantage. In the final moments of the first half, Croatia had an opportunity to get to comfortable two goals lead, but failed to realize it, though in one part of the game had two more players in the field. A few technical errors in the attack ruined this effort. So the first 30 minutes ended with “no winners” (14-14).
Although in the second half Alilović finally started to defend, a weaker defense and little judicial “Scandinavian solidarity” by the Norwegian referees have led to a slight advantage for the Danes. Croatia was in the lead with four goals (Musa for 27-23), but they gambled the advantage in just two minutes. With one less player in the field, the Croats still had the last attack and the chance for a tie, but Musa’s shot from the 6 meters line did not end in the net rather than in the hands of the rival goalkeeper.
Norway 29-32 France: Norway strove against the world’s best
The match ended 32-29, but the Norwegian players were close to a small handball bomb.
Norway led the fight till 26-25 as it remained ten minutes, and the French had the ball and the momentum. But there is a reason that France is considered the world’s best handball team, and towards the end the team showed great class.
Still, coach Robert Hedin was very pleased with his players.
We did not start very well and made some simple mistakes. But during the match, I am very pleased with what we showed. We were able to stand up the whole game.
Christian O’Sullivan scored four of Norway’s 29 goals, and was among the best on the court. He said the game showed that Norway is not that far away from the big nations.
– We show that we can, and that there is so far up.
On Friday Norway lost narrowly 26-28 to Croatia. Saturday’s result was a new confirmation that Roberg Hedins men can be to reckon with.
Espen Lie Hansen, was Norway’s top scorer with six goals. Veteran Jerome Fernandez scored nine goals for France.
Day 3, November 3, Oslo
In Oslo, the French thought a new lesson to Croatia
In the defeat against France, Croatian national handball team played an unprecedented bad half (7-13).
The coach of the NT of Croatia, Slavko Goluža on Saturday after losing to Denmark said that – despite defeat he is satisfied!
Even after ten minutes of play in the match against France (eventually lost 29-24), his satisfaction is completely diminished.
How could it not, the French led with 8-3, the first goal for Croatia was achieved in the 9th minutes, before the goalkeeper Cyril Dumoulin and the defense from the team of Claude Onesta, Croatia attackers seemed ridiculous just like it used to be when, today injured and operated, Thierry Omeyer, was on the goal in the past. Anyone who remembers the match in the quarterfinal World Cup in Spain when these same Croatian players demolished the same opponents 30-23, surely wondered what happened in Oslo, to make matters worse, the team that Goluža brought in Norway was the best individuals that Croatian handball currently has to offer, while Onesta pushed many changed in the team from the one considered prime and the best. He played, in fact, without Omeyer, Abalo, Accambray, Gillea …
The French played in the first half with the same great pace, but their finish was not so impressive, and Croatian players until the first half (13-7) only scored seven goals against Dumoulin. Three from the series 3-0 in the last two minutes. Without any exaggeration – an unheard poor performance from the team that rightfully aspirates to the highest achievements. In the end, the French team celebrated with 29-24.
Norway dominating against Denmark – A frantic transformation
Norway stood masterful in the second half and beat sensationally reigning European champion Denmark in the last match of the Bring Cup.
Denmark has played three of the last four finals of the Championships and is the reigning European champion. Therefore, there were few who believed that Norway would be able to cope with the Danish champion team in Sunday’s match in Bring Cup. But thanks to a wonderful second half, Norway showed sensational victory 32-26.
Robert Hedin, Norwegian coach
– I am proud and happy. This was fantastic effort. Absolutely incredible. We have a young Norwegian team that stands out with great effort. We had lovely drive in the counterattack. After a slow start we got the hang of it.Yes, it means a lot. We show that we have a team that can be very, very good in the long term, stated Hedin, who promised almost 18-year-old Sander Sagosen place in the European Championship squad.
As against Croatia on Friday and against France on Saturday Norway opened weak against Denmark also. Before the break Hedins men struggled especially with defense game and had to go into the locker room lagging three goals 14-17.
A wild transformation
After the break, Norway was a completely different team that came into play. Norway brought in Danish management, and after long standing 22-22 Norway took the period ahead 26-22.
Finally, 32-26 was the final result and Norway victory against the reigning European champion was completed.
The goalkeeper closed goal
One of the main reasons for the turnaround was the goalkeeper Magnus Dahl. He conceded just five goals in a period of 17 minutes.
Bent Svele said:
– He just closed the goal. This was almost as if you have to pinch your arm, this was amazing. In this game, Magnus Dahl and Norway greatest expert.