Møbelringen Cup, Bergen, Sotra Arena
Norway – Korea 39 – 28 (22 – 12)
Norway – Herrem 5, Brattset 6, Løke 7, Mørk 3(1), Kurtovic 7(1), Oftedal 3, Skogrand 1, Kristiansen 5, Jacobsen 1, Solberg 1
Korea – Jo 8(3), Jung 3, Choi 3, Ryu 2, Song 2, Kang 2, Gim 2, Gwon 4(3), Lee 1, Kim 1
Suspensions: 6 minutes; 0 minutes
7 meters: 3/2; 7/6
Norway took a flying start taking the lead 8-2 after ten minutes against a Korean team, which tried to set an offensive defense in this period, but against quick players like Mørk, Oftedal, Herrem, and Kristiansen the Asians had no chance to stop their opponent. Nora Mørk showed herself as having a big desire to play a good handball, feeding Brattset and Herrem with important balls. Heidi Løke is back to the national team, scoring four times in the first half, and we could observe that her sports form is improving every day. Katrine Lunde stopped the Korean attacks, helping her team running on fast breaks, like the Norway we knew. Hosts had gained a ten-goal advantage after twenty minutes, 18-8. The first half ended 22-12.
In the second half, Korea starts with a different line-up, having more experienced players on the court, setting a better defense and ding a better work with the line player. Norway made also some changes in their line-up, Amanda Kurtovic took the role of the playmaker, Marit R.Jacobsen entered the right wing and Vilde Ingstad made the job for Kurtovic in defense. Korea managed to get several 7 meters due to kine player Gim and they were efficient to score on these. Debutant on the playmaker position, Emile Christensen got also the opportunity from Thorir Hergeirsson, to play her first game for Norway, with mixed performance.
Scandinavians used the match as a preparation before the WCh in Germany, practicing fast breaks, different plays with the line player and different defensive tactics. Kari Aalvik Grimsbø managed to find her saving form in the Norwegian goal in the last ten minutes of the match, saving several clear Korean chances and even a 7-meter throw. The defense is still a lot to improve on, but the attacking play of Norway is very fascinating. The match was won by Norway 39 – 28.
Heidi Løke, seven goals in the match: “It was good to be back with the team and to be successful doing my job on the court. My sports form is still not at its peak, but I promise to start the World Championship near to my top form.”
Nora Mørk, three goals in the match, several assists for line players and wings: ” It was nice to be over this game, and to be able to focus onl on handball, which is the most important to me. I am also glad to have Heidi back”-says Mørk smiling to Heidi Løke.
Amanada Kurtovic , seven goals in the match: ” Today I had to fill not only the right-back position but in the second half I played on playmaker too. It was important to me to be able to do well here, as I play as a back player in my club too and this is where I feel the most comfortable on the court. At the same time, this is a long tournament and every one of us on this position will get a lot of chance to play, we just have to be in the top shape when it most counts.”