International Handball Federation

08/13/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/13/2017 12:22

Denmark, Egypt through to eighth-finals, Norway face exit.

Group A - Sunday 13 August

The penultimate day of the preliminary group games of Georgia 2017 saw the traditional handball powerhouse of Denmark confirm their progression forward.

Already-qualified France confirmed top-spot with a victory over Sweden and Egypt progressed to the eighth-finals with a win over Bahrain.

Denmark vs Norway 33:20 (14:11)

Denmark secured their passage through to the eighth-finals with this 13-goal win over neighbours Norway who now find themselves at risk of going into the President's Cup.

It was the second neighbourly win for the Danes in two matchdays, after they beat Sweden on Friday (11 August). Danish coach Claus Hansen admitted to IHF.info after the game that is was the most nervous he had felt in 10 competitions with his side and before this match he had pumped up his side who were eager to get started.

Before the match, Norway knew a win was the only result they wanted and it took them just 30 seconds to get off the mark as Thomas Boilesen opened the scoring, followed by his teammate Sander Simonsen making it 2:0.

However, the two teams shared the goals throughout the half with two-goal runs from both sides a regular occurrence, but the clock ran out for the Norwegians at the break as two from Anders Agger Pedersen gave Norway just 30 seconds to return the run.

Their three-goal half-time lead (14:11) stayed until the 37th minute at which point Denmark changed gear, scoring five unanswered goals, resulting in the contest being over in the 42nd minute (22:14).

Norway did themselves no favours late on as their goal was battered by the Danes with a 7:0 run (32:17) ending in the 55th minute and resulting in Norway's goal difference going into the minus numbers.

Emil Jakobsen, later voted best player of the match for the Danes, ended with an 100% strike rate consisting of shots from the seven-metre spot, fast-break and wing as his eight goals came at crucial times throughout the match.

To sum up Norway's woes in front of goal in this match, in the 53rd minute, Henrik Evensen broke through the Danish wall, but his shot was blocked. The ricochet fell to Preben Egeli, who grabbed the ball and shot from the wing, but his shot hit the corner of the goal. That rebound then fell to Sander Rogne Myklebust who had his shot saved, but was then whistled for stepping in the area.

Best Players of the Match: Emil JAKOBSEN (DEN), Sander Loevlie SIMONSEN (NOR)

Sweden vs France 21:29 (9:12)

France consolidated their place at the top of the group with this win which also meant they cannot be caught going into the final day of group games tomorrow.

Still missing right-back Julien Bos to an ankle injury - French coach Eric Quintin later confirmed to IHF.info he is hoping he will be ready for the eighth-finals - France restricted their opponents to nine first-half goals and were able to rotate their entire fit squad without any further injuries.

The first half was watched by the squads of Korea, Norway and Argentina and they saw a French side inspired by their vocal left-wing Gael Tribillon, although it took some time for them to settle into the rhythm of this match with Quintin deciding he had seen enough and rotating his entire squad with the score at 6:6 (15th minute). First Elohim Prandi came off for Clement Damiani, then Benjamin Richert was replaced by Edouard Kempf at the same Dylan Nahi came on for Gael Tribillon, Nori Benhalima for Yoann Gibelin, Noah Gaudin for Kylilan Villeminot and Jonathan Mapu for Hugo Brouzet.

The pivot exchange of Mapu for Brouzet may have been a normal change for Quintin during this tournament, but such an exchange of bodies temporarily saw the Swedes go in front (7:6), but France came back with a 3:0 run which saw them take the same amount of goals lead into the break (12:9).

The first six minutes of the second half looked promising for Jerry Hallback's Swedish team as a 5:1 run put them ahead (14:13) in the 47th minute - the first time they had lead since the 18th, but that would prove to be the end of their advantage as Dylan Nahi and Edouard Kempf scored half of France's 16-goal run up to the 54th minute during which Oskar Sunnefeldt's three strikes were part of just a paltry five goals the Swedes had in response.

France were too quick for the Scandinavians on the turnovers as in a flash, they were gone and looking to the eight-finals and beyond.

Best Players of the Match: Gustaf BANKE (SWE), Dylan NAHI (FRA)

Egypt vs Bahrain 37:25 (19:10)

Mohamed Emad ensured a victory for the Egyptians by half-time in this game as his incredible 63.6% save rate of seven shots out of the 11 he faced restricted Bahrain to just 10 first-half goals and only one in the last 10 minutes of the first 30.

As if to prove the difference in shooting quality and defence between the two teams, Bahrain's goalkeeper Qasim Al Maqabi could only manage three saves out of 22 shots, resulting in a 13.6% saves-to-shot ratio in the first period.

Bahrain tried impressively to stay in touch but when your coach screams in exasperation at yet another missed opportunity, like Ebrahim Ali did with less than 17 minutes on the clock then you know it is not going to be your day.

Moments later Yusuf Al Qasimi was given the job of marking Shehab Abdalla, the Egyptian dangerman but when Khaled Essam Aly score (14:9) and then Hazem Mamdouh deftly touched a pass that was a bit too high in mid-air to complete a kempa (15:9), the Egyptian bench's passion was plain to see.

Egypt were clear physical winners in this encounter as Bahrain are maybe still feeling the effects of such a performance against Denmark two games ago.

Any hope Bahrain had of catching up in the second period were quickly extinguished as a 5:0 run from the Africans made it 24:12.

The two points put Egypt on five and through to the eighth-finals no matter what happens in the final group matches tomorrow. They could even finish in second place if they beat Norway and France beat Denmark, but despite the pressure of qualifying for the next round off now, Egypt coach Bassem Abdelmoaz Mostafa

'I had three injured players today,' said Egypt coach Bassem Abdelmoaz Mostafa after the game. 'Our left-back, centre-back and pivot were out but we will try our best

Best Players of the Match: Mohamed EMAD EBRAHIM (EGY), Ahmed ALI (BRN)