For those who had to wonder who will score the goals for the women’s national team now that the all-time top scorer, Isabell Herlovsen, has given up. Caroline Graham Hansen (25) has taken on the task.
Of Norway’s 33 goals in five matches in the European Championship qualifiers, the Barcelona professional has been the last or second last in 17 of these. Before Tuesday’s away match against Wales, “Caro” stands with 10 goals and seven goalscorers.
She scores an average of two goals each match, and only Sherida Spitse (Netherlands) has the same number of goals in the European Championship qualifiers.
– It is of course fun to score goals, but for me this means that we as a team have scored many goals in a qualification where we have played well. Now it’s all about taking the one point we need against Wales to qualify for the European Championships in England. Who scores does not matter to me as long as we win the matches, says Caroline Graham Hansen.
In practice, Norway secures a European Championship place with one point tonight. This means that Norway is up to 16 points, while second Wales can only get 15. In theory, Belarus can overtake Norway, but it is almost unthinkable.
In addition, the top three runners-up go directly to the European Championships, while the other six group runners-up play play-offs in April.
Graham Hansen, who had a goal when Guro Reiten won the match in the previous match against Wales, believes Norway has taken new steps after the World Cup in France last year stopped in the quarterfinals.
– Yes, I actually think so. Then you can say that the resistance has been weak, but we have also made them weak. Now we go to the Wales match to show that we can be so much better than we were at Ullevaal. Then we had a good gathering, but did not get it out in battle. Now we hope to achieve both, says the Barcelona professional.
She will not apologize for the weak effort at home against Wales
– When you have not played a match or been together for a long time, everyone is affected. It is not something we use as an excuse. That’s how it turned out, and we have learned from it. It is important for the further development of the national team.
– It is no news that “Caro” has a very important role with us, but I think she has better working conditions because she gets more balls to work with. We now see that with 10 goals in five games. It is a pretty good goal cut, says national team coach Martin Sjögren.
The Swede is aware that there would have been 11 goals had it not been for an erroneous cancellation in the previous meeting against Wales.