The ‘Dream Final’ of the EHF EURO 2016 between Norway and Netherlands promised a high quality, top speed handball and a lot of excitement and the ‘Dream Final’ didn’t disappoint the handball lovers. The final was the rematch of last year’s world championship final and right from the first moments it was clear that it would be a very different story tonight. Both teams started with full speed, with a handball that was a joy to watch for everyone related to handball. Netherlands was the first team to have a bigger advantage (9-6). Danick Snelder and Nycke Groot were leading the Dutch army, while Nora Mörk stood on the top of the Norwegian team. After 20 minutes, the Dutch girls were already up by 4 goals and Thorir Hergeirsson sent 4-time EURO gold medalist Kari Aalvik Grimsbö on the field. After these minutes, Norway started a comeback: with a 5-0 run, they were already leading (14-15). In the last seconds of the half, MVP of the EURO Nycke Groot equalized and the teams went to the locker room with 15-15.
The second half promised even more excitement than the first, but the same quality and speed of handball. The second half started better for the Norwegians, they managed to keep a constant 1-2 goals lead. After 40 minutes played, the Dutch team had a five-minute blackout that helped Norway to a 5-goal lead (21-26) and the match seemed to be fade away for the Netherlands. Usually in this period when the difference grows so suddenly between Norway and the opponent, the Scandinavians manage to break the opponent but it wouldn’t be the Dream Final and it wouldn’t be the Netherlands on the other side of the court if it was so. The Dutch girls came closer minute by minute and both goalkeepers, Tess Wester and Kari Aalvik Grimsbö helped their teams with important saves. The best player of the final, Nora Mörk scored in important moments – enough to take the top scorer trophy as well. The last minutes brought a lot of tension and excitement as the Dutch team had the chance to level the score in the last seconds of the game. They even scored the equalizer that wasn’t valid by the referees, but the remaining 4 seconds were not enough to force out an extra time: a failed pass in the last seconds meant the 7th Norwegian gold medal in the history of the EHF EURO.
EHF EURO 2016 – Final
Netherlands – Norway 29-30
Göteborg, Scandinavium, 11037 spectators
Netherlands: D. Snelder 6, N. Groot 5, E. Polman 4, L. Abbingh 3(2), L. van der Heijden 3, S. van Olphen 2, Y. Broch 2, M. Goos 2, A. Malestein 1, M. Visser 1(1)
Norway: N. Mörk 12(5), M.M. Frafjord 5, C. Herrem 4, E. Hegh Arntzen 3, S. Waade 2, S. Oftedal 2, V. Kristiansen 2
Penalties: 3/4 ; 5/5
Suspensions: 4 minutes ; 4 minutes
Player of the match: Nora Mörk (NOR)
Top scorer of the EURO: Nora Mörk – 53 goals
Final result of the EHF EURO 2016:
10. Czech Republic