In the first match for the 9-12 placement, Slovenia beat Norway.
In the first actions, both goalkeepers saved the opponents’ balls but, minutes after, Slovenia’s Tilen Groblenik scored the first goal in the match. The first scorer from the Norwegian side was Jorg William Fiala Gjermundnes in the fifth minute for 1:2 and soon his teammate Viktor Petersen brought the first tie. Because of a strong start of both teams and goalkeepers’ saves, there weren’t many goals in the beginning, but Norway claimed a lead by the end of the 10th minute (3:2). Towards the end of the first half, both sides picked up their rhythm and Norway managed to go up by two (8:6) seven minutes before the end and have a four-goal lead at the half time (12:8).
Slovenia furiously opened the second half with a six-goal series and retook the lead (12:14) which forced Norway’s Anstein Engravslia to call a time out. It took Norway 11 minutes to score but their fast three-goal brought them the advantage back (15:14). Last five minutes of the match saw Slovenia leading 19:24 and Norway missing the shots despite well-built up actions. Slovenian side’s series secured them a first win in Koprivnica (19:28).
Norway’s best player was Tobias Grondahl and Slovenia’s was Nik Ćirović.
Top scorer for Norway was Tobias Grondahl scoring four and Teo Jezernik scored eight for Slovenia.
Norway player, Tobias Grondahl: We played really well in the first half and we just collapsed in the second one. I don’t know what happened to the team. Our attack and defense were bad and Slovenia used the situation and won.
Norway coach, Anstein Engravslia: We had a difficult start in the second half. Slovenia scored a lot od goals, we let them into the match, their self-confidence was really high and ours was really low. The guys started to be stressful and they made a lot of mistakes, our defense was terrible and Slovenia scored a lot of goals in that period of time. That’s not how we play handball. I feel sorry for the guys because the first half was really good. Now we have to build the team up for tomorrow.
Slovenia coach, Janez Klemenčić: We knew that the match will be difficult, the winner goes to the world championship. In the first half we played well, but there was a lot of mistakes in our attack, a lot of missed goals. In the second half the guys had more concentration, our game was better and in the end we scored a lot of goals and won the game.
Slovenia player, Nik Ćirović: We knew this was going to be a tough game because it is very important for the world championship. We fought till the very end. We waited for this game tempo this whole championship and we won.