At the Men’s EHF Euro 2024 in Berlin, debutants Faroe Islands made headlines worldwide after earning their first points ever in a spectacular 26:26 draw against handball giants Norway on Saturday. A huge crowd of Faroese supporters present erupted into wild celebrations the moment the cliffhanger match came to a close after a last-minute Faroese equalizer—alongside much of the entire population of the 55,000-strong island nation.
“One of the biggest results in the history of European handball,” according to Handball Planet. “The smallest handball country has written amazing chapter of their history, but also history of handball.”
Backed by solid support in the stands, the Faroese “gave the Norwegians a headache with the brave seven-on-six approach instructed by their coach, Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen, from the whistle,” the European Handball Federation reported. “The Norwegian squad looked completely fazed by the atmosphere and never got the confidence to completely establish control on the match. In the final three minutes, Norway held a three-goal lead, but the Faroe Islands displayed extremely strong determination, mounted a comeback and fought until the very end when Elias Ellefsen á Skipagøtu stole the ball and earned a penalty in the dying minutes, which he converted a few seconds later to write his name with golden letters in Faroese history.”
Back at home, not to mention in Berlin, Faroese crowds remained in a state of euphoria well into the following day, perhaps unsurprisingly—the momentous feat against the Norwegians is considered one of the most, if not the most, outstanding achievement of all time by the Faroe Islands in the context of international sports.
“I feel amazing, it’s a dream come true to win—I mean not to win, but this is a win for us to get a point against Norway, so it’s an amazing day for the Faroe Islands and our handball,” á Skipagøtu noted.
Having beaten the Faroe Islands narrowly on January 11th, Slovenia is through to the main round, however with the second place in Group D still to be decided.