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06.07.2019, 18:29
Denmark have two shots at gold at Beach Handball EURO 2019
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DAY REVIEW: The Danish men will play Norway in an all-Scandinavian final, while the women’s team face Hungary for the European title in Stare Jablonki on Sunday
 

Denmark have two shots at gold at Beach Handball EURO 2019

Denmark have never won gold in the 19-year-long history of the Beach Handball EURO. On Sunday, they get two chances to end their wait for a European title.

Both the men’s and the women’s team of Denmark reached the final at the Beach Handball EURO 2019 in Stare Jablonki in Poland.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, the men’s team beat Hungary 2:0 (19:16, 22:18), just hours after the women had defeated Croatia in a shoot-out, 2:1 (19:12, 10:17, 7:4).

In the men’s final, Denmark will be up against Norway, who came through a tight semi-final against Russia, 2:1 (20:18, 24:26, 7:4).

For the women’s title, Denmark will face two-time champions Hungary, who defeated Netherlands 2:0 (19:16, 15:12).

All matches of the Beach Handball EURO 2019 are streamed live on ehfTV.com, and Sunday’s third-place matches and both finals will come with English commentary by Chris O’Reilly. The scores can also be followed on the dedicated beach handball liveticker.

Getting to the final means everything to Norway

Appearing in their first semi-final since 2013, when they ended up winning bronze, Denmark downed Hungary in straight sets.

Jonas Corneliussen scored 11 points in the first half alone, and finished on a leading 15 for Denmark, while Andras John added 12 points for Hungary.

By reaching the final, Norway are entering new territory as they have never been among the top four before.

“It means everything. We tried so many times,” Norway goalkeeper Simen Johansen said. “Finally we reached the semi-finals and now the final. It’s amazing for a small country like us.”

Norway got a huge boost from upsetting record-four-time champions Croatia in Friday’s quarter-final.

“Beating Croatia, maybe the best team of the world, gives us a lot of confidence,” said the goalkeeper, who made the difference in the shoot-out against Russia, as two brilliant saves by him paved the way to victory for Norway.

According to Johansen, Norway are ready to take on neighbours Denmark in the final.

“We play against them so many times so we know them, and they know all of us,” he said.

Hungary return to final after four years

In the first women’s semi-final, Denmark overcame a strong recovery from Croatia in the second set. Denmark looked like cruising to the final after taking the opener 19:12, but conceded the second set by the same seven-point margin, 17:10, before closing out the win in a shoot-out.

Denmark’s Melanie Fuglsbjerg, Frederikke Laerke and Line Berggren Larsen all scored eight times, while Anja Vida Luksic led for Croatia with 10 points.

Denmark are going into their third Beach Handball EURO Final, after 2011 and ’13, when they ended up taking silver both times.

Hungary will be a tough contender in the final, as the two-time former champions (2013 and ’15) proved against Netherlands. While they had clearly lost to ‘Oranje’ in a main round game on Thursday, they completely turned the tables around two days later.

Pressing Netherlands and forcing them to mistakes was the recipe for success, as the Dutch side found no solution to get their attack going. Also, experienced Hungary goalkeeper Agnes Györi excelled in the second set to help her team back into the final after four years.

Renata Andrea Csiki netted 14 points for Hungary, while Krista Mol scored 16 points for Netherlands.

Schedule Beach Handball EURO 2019 Finals, Sunday 7 July:

14:00 hrs - women’s bronze medal match: Croatia vs Netherlands
15:00 hrs - men’s bronze medal match: Hungary vs Russia
16:00 hrs - women’s final: Denmark vs Hungary
17:00 hrs - men’s final: Denmark vs Norway

Photos: Uros Hocevar / kolektiff / EHF


TEXT: Eric Willemsen / ts
 
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