3 takes after the final: “The stars, Oftedal and the beautiful game”

France managed to hold off and are the world champions after 31–28 against Norway in the final. Here are Jacob Nalerius’ three points.

The match within the match

A WC final usually contains hot duels and so also this time. The match within the match that I wanted to highlight is the one between the left backs Henny Reistad and Estelle Nze Minko – the world’s, in my opinion, two best at the position. We had the elegant Nze Minko against the machine, Reistad. After her 15 goals in the semi-final Reistad, according to the official statistics, “only” managed to score five goals in this final. It was certainly more than Nze Minko’s three goals, but she will not cry any rivers with the gold medal around her neck.

Oftedal’s last show?

She has already announced that she will leave the handball court indefinitely after this summer’s Olympics. Thus, this may have been Stine Oftedal’s last major championship final. The beating heart of Norway’s attack also put on quite a display as she accounted for six goals. But as you know, it wasn’t enough for Norway, who had to see themselves defeated by a ruthless France. Now you have to keep your fingers crossed that Oftedal gets that perfect ending, which she deserves, in Paris.

What a game!

Speed, fight and individual performances – this final had just about EVERYTHING. The first half offered 37 (!) goals and in the second the defense and the goalkeepers stepped up their game. Even the drama was sustained all the way to the finish line and this became just the propaganda the sport needs, when headlines about referees fixing matches – and nations choosing the perfect routes in tournaments, tarnish this wonderful sport.