Sub with dream half as Saudi sent packing

handballHERNING, DENMARK. Espen Christensen (Norway).Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Norway beat Saudi Arabia 40-21 in handball World Cup

Keeper, Espen Christensen, closed Saturday before the break and drove Saudi Arabia to pure despair in the World Cup match in handball. Norway crushed their opponents by 40-21.

The veteran goalkeeper is a clear second choice behind Torbjørn Bergerud, but in the second match in the championship he got the chance from the start.

After a quarter of an hour, Christiansen had stopped nine of 12 shots. That is a 75% of saves. That statistic could, of course, not last very long, but Christensen came out very well from the game overall.

Immediately after the break he was shot down. Hassan Aljanabi smacked the ball right in the face of Christansen. The goalkeeper went down like a knocked out heavyweight before he got on his feet with what looked like a dental injury.

18-year-old Alexander Blonz seized the opportunity when he got it. He scored five goals before the break.

Norway held back Sander Sagosen as part of the plan to have him in top shape later in the World Cup. An aggressive Norwegian defence and many saves created an overflow of counter options. They bode Norway well on their way to 20-10 at the break.

For national team chief Christian Berge, the game was a new opportunity to get more players started. He succeeded well for Magnus Abelvik Rød’s part. The Oslo lad accounted for six scores in as many shots in the 1st half and did a good job in defence.

Saudi Arabia became a leisurely opponent of several teams in the World Cup. The players weighed, on average, ten kilos less than the Norwegian guys. They were also 12 centimeters shorter, on average, than Norway’s players.

The World Cup continues with Norway against Austria on Monday.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today