Norway’s national women’s handball team had hoped to soar undefeated into the next round of action at the World Championships in Japan. Instead they were upset by the Netherlands, which finally beat Norway for the first time in 20 years.
Norway had defeated all the other three teams in their group, most recently Angola, by a score of 30-24. Earlier victories meant the Norwegians could boast of trouncing Cuba, Slovenia and Serbia.
Friday’s match started out well, with Norway leading by four goals at the break. But in the last 10 minutes, a highly motivated Dutch team stormed back and the match ended with the Netherlands two goals ahead of Norway, and a final score of 30-28.
“It irritates me how we were leading and then we lose in the blink of an eye,” Norway’s veteran handball star Camilla Herrem, told state broadcaster NRK. Both Norway and the Netherlands, however, will now advance in championship play, with Norway set to face South Korea, Germany and Denmark.