Norway has already secured the advancement to the quarterfinals before the last round in the groups, where the girls of Thorir Hergeirsson met Romania. The Eastern Europeans had desperately needed a victory in order to be able to get a berth in the next phase of the Olympic competition.
Norway lost their opening game against hosts from Brazil, but they improved gradually and won their next three encounters in the group.
The first half was a balanced one with goals on both sides and Paula Ungureanu on fire in the Romanian goal, keeping hopes alive for her team. Cristina Neagu performed as everybody expects from the world’s best player and it was hard to stop her and the Romanian team. Norwegian team was led once again by Nora Mörk, Veronica Kristiansen and Stine Bredal Oftedal. The first half ended 14-13.
The second half brought a better Norwegian defense, goalkeeper performance had improved (Grimsbö replaced Lunde after the break) and the wing shoots was more efficient as well.Norway increased the lead to three even four goals but Romanian team showed a fantastic fighting spirit and managed to remain in the game, Neagu, Geiger, Manea or Chintoan scored goals, but Munteanu in the goal could not stop the Scandinavian waves produced by Oftedal or Kristiansen.
27-23 was the result five minutes before the final whistle, Romania had the chance to equalize, but this was not enough for Tomas Ryde’s team and they lost 28-27.
A sad Romanian team can just hope that in the last match of the group later tonight, Angola will manage to beat Spain, this is their only chance to qualify. In the case of a draw or Spanish victory, Romania has to leave the competition.
Norway – Romania 28 – 27 (14 – 13)
Norway: Mörk 6(3), Kristiansen 7(3), Oftedal 6, Herrem 3, Kurtovic 2, Löke 3, Frafjord 1,
Romania: Neagu 11(5), Manea 2, Geiger 4, Chintoan 3, Elisei 1, Chiper 3, Buceschi 2, Hotea 1