While the Danish team beat Spain 32:23 in the semi-final of the Men's Youth World Championship in Hungary, Croatia overcame Germany 29:26 to reach the last match of the final tournament
Denmark and Croatia to battle for gold
Denmark is only one step away from successfully defending their title at the Men's Youth World Championship.
Two years after the nation's under-19 handball team topped the podium at the 2011 event in Argentina, the new generation of up and coming talents reached the final in Hungary following a confident 32:23 victory against Spain.
Their opponents on Friday (23 August, 17:00 hrs local time) will be Croatia who beat Germany 29:26 in a thrilling encounter.
Germany and Spain face for the bronze medal match also on Friday at 14:30 hrs local time.
In their semi-final against Spain - a re-match of the 2011 Youth World Championship final - Denmark hardly left any doubt that they wanted to reach the tournament's last match by all means.
After ten minutes they had granted themselves with a three-goal lead which they slightly extended until half-time which saw Denmark going into the changing rooms with a 17:13 lead.
They then virtually decided the match in their favour when five unanswered goals granted them a 26:19 lead midway through the second half.
Simon Hald Jensen was Denmark's top scorer with nine goals.
In the second semi-final it were Germany who looked like the winning for three quarters of the match.
Led by strong performances of Yves Kunkel (eight goals overall) and Tim Suton (10 goals) , they were away 15:13 at half-time and 23:20 with 15 minutes to go on the clock.
However, that was when Croatia started to fight back, scoring a 5:0 series which put them in the lead 25:23 - an advantage they did not give away until the end of the match.
"To be perfectly honest, I haven't seen much from Croatia in this tournament," said Denmark's coach Claus Hansen about his team's next opponents.
"So we will conduct an intensive video preparation. And I'm fully aware that they beat Sweden as well as Germany, the team's that were my favourites ahead of the tournament.
"So yes, they have definitely earned being in the final."
Follow all matches via a live stream
This is the fifth edition of the Men’s Youth World Championship, with all previous winners coming from Europe: Serbia-Montenegro (2005), Denmark (2007, 2011) and Croatia (2009).
24 teams take part in the event for the first time – and for the first time the world champion will directly qualify for the 2015 edition of the Junior World Championship.
Denmark are the defending champions after raising the trophy at the 2011 Youth World Championship in Argentina ahead of Spain and Sweden who took home silver and bronze respectively.
Just like the junior event in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all matches can be followed live and free of charge on a live stream at the official tournament website.
Photos: Uros Hocevar / IHF
TEXT: EHF / ts
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