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Photo: Uroš Hočevar

Norway secure a win against Israel

The clash between Norway and Israel saw Anstein Engravslia’s team coming out as winners.

Norway’s Kristian Larsen scored the first goal in the match and Viktor Petersen quickly added two more. First Israel’s score happened in the fifth minute thanks to Itay Suissa. Norway quickly found an answer to Israel’s deep 3-3 defence and went up by three by the eighth minute (6:3). Norway’s five-goal lead, Andre Kristensen’s saves and no sign of slowing down made Israel’s Oleg Boutenko call a time out in the 14th minute. Towards the end of the first half, Norway kept the lead and kept scoring while Israel had troubles with opponents’ strong defence and fast breaks. Anstein Engravslia called a time out five minutes before the end of the first half. After that, Norway added more precise shots for an eight-goal lead at the half-time (18:10).

Daniel Mosindi opened the second half scoring for Israel (18:11). Despite Israel’s effort to catch up and Tsur Gertner’s saves, Norway found a way to put a ball into their net in almost every action and by the end of the 45th minute had a twelve-goal lead (28:16). When Norway scored their 30th goal (30:17), Boutenko called a time out but Israel was powerless against Norwegian defence. Engravslia’s side secured a win (36:23) in the Intermediate Round’s day two.

Norway’s best player was Alexandre Blonz and Israel’s was Itay Turkenitz.

Top scorer for Norway were Alexandre Blonz and Tobias Grondahl, each with six goals and for Israel, Itay Turkenitz scoring seven.

Norway player, Alexandre Christoffersen Blonz: It’s a fantastic feeling because we know some teams struggled against Israel. This is the first game that wasn’t close. It’s a great relief to say that, everybody played well. We all played well in defense, we ran very well and it’s really a good feeling to say that. It’s great to win the best player award, my shots finally went in, but we all played well. Now we want to qualify for the World Championship.

Norway coach, Anstein Engravslia: I was very satisfied with the plan we had. We saw Israel on video, and in some matches live here. Some players in our team are very fast and they were ready for this kind of defense, maybe it suited us better than the other teams. We sticked to the plan, the guys played great defense in the first half and our goalkeeper was terrific too. It was a perfect day for Norweigan team. I think we now play Slovenia on Friday, it’s a good team, we have to stay focused and prepare well.

Israel player, Itay Turkenitz: I think we lost the game ourselves. We didn’t play our game, we came in with our heads down. That’s it, that’s why the result was what it was. Norway are a really good team, we knew that before, but we didn’t show anything today. Now we stay here, and want to finish 13th.

Israel coach, Oleg Israel Boutenko: First of all, congratulations to the Norway team, they played very well. We didn’t open the match the way we wanted, and it was very difficult to us. We felt tired, and our mental power wasn’t there. In the end, the result was really bad. Tomorrow we rest and think and start preparing. We have to find motivation for what’s next. I’m not too disappointed overall, because we played well in the group stage, but something didn’t work in the last few matches.

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