MATCH REVIEW: The upcoming EHF EURO 2014 hosts' U19-squad beats Croatia 32:26 at the Men's Youth World Championship in a thrilling final after extra-time. Germany take bronze, beating Spain 29:23
Denmark take gold in Hungary
Denmark have confirmed their supremacy in international youth handball by successfully defending the title at the Men's Youth World Championship in Hungary.
In the final on Friday night (23 August) the team which is coached by Claus Hansen beat Croatia 32:26 in a thrilling match worthy of a final.
A couple of hours earlier in the day Germany had taken bronze by beating Spain 29:23.
An even match until extra-time
Croatia enjoyed an early lead in the final, being away 9:6 after 20 minutes - however, they did not know that it was the last time they were in control of the match.
At half-time Denmark had levelled the match at 12:12 and they almost already looked as if they had pocketed the gold when they 23:19 with a bit more than nine minutes left.
But Croatia fought back and a 6:2 series in their favour in the remainder of the match brought the encounter into extra-time with the score at 25:25.
There it seemed as if Croatia had given it too much in order to stay in the game as they only scored one more goal compared to Denmark's seven which saw the defending champions once again lifting the trophy.
Denmark's top scorers were Niclas Kirkelokke with seven goals and Kristian Stoklund Larsen with 10. Lovro Mihic netted five times for Croatia, and Ante Grbavac, Ante Kuduz as well as Marko Mamic scored four goals each.
"I cannot find words to express how much of a pleasure it is to work with a group of young people who show so much passion for handball," said Denmark's coach Hansen.
"They watch all the matches they can possibly watch to become better, they talk handball most of the time - and it is clear that they just love the game.
"It is this dedicated mindset that will lead these talented boys on towards their own big goals."
At the 2011 Men's Youth World Championship Denmark finished first ahead of Spain and Sweden.
13 strong minutes grant Germany bronze
In the match for third place Spain looked like the better team for more than three quarters of the match.
They led 15:13 at half-time and were away by even four goals at 23:19 with 13 minutes to go - but it was the last time that Spain celebrated a goal.
30 seconds later Tim Buton started what would become a German 10:0 series that subsequently pushed Germany on the podium's third spot.
"I told the boys at half-time that we should have been behind by ten goals," said coach Christian Schwarzer. "For 45 minutes nothing worked, but then everything did.
"It is great to have pocketed the bronze. For the boys' development its fantastic. Especially the way they won it."
All-Star Team named
At the end of the competition the All-Star Team of the Youth World Championship in Hungary was named. It consists entirely of European players.
Best goalkeeper: Sebastian L. Frandsen (DEN)
TEXT: EHF / ts
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