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Photo: Uroš Hočevar

Denmark unstoppable at M18 EHF EURO 2018

In the first Main Round’s match, Denmark took a win against Serbia (29:24).

Serbia’s Nikola Stefanović opened the game with a score and a one-goal lead but Magnus Haburo quickly returned the favour. Serbia’s strong start saw them in a two-goal lead (2:4) but Denmark’s four-goal series resulted in a retake (6:4). Despite Serbia’s effort to keep up, Denmark’s Svend Rughave and Simon Egtved saved some of the shots in key moments and ensured their team opportunities to increase the lead. In the last five minutes, Ole Damgaard’s team entered with a four-goal lead (11:7) and a suspended player. After new scores on both sides, Serbia’s head coach Aleksandar Radosavljević called a time out. With the final whistle of the first half, Jovica Nikolić scored for 13:10.

Steven Jacobsen opened the second half scoring for Denmark and Jovica Nikolić was precise from the seven-meter line on the other side of the court. Denmark’s fast three-goal series for 19:13 brought turmoil among Serbia’s players as it turned into a six-goal lead (20:14). Although the Danish team slowed down their rhythm in the last ten minutes, they kept dominating and remained unbeaten as they secured a win (29:24).

Denmark’s best player was Marcus Stroustrup and Serbia’s was Danilo Radović.

Top scorer for Denmark was Marcus Stroustrup with four goals and Jovica Nikolić scored nine for Serbia.

Denmark coach, Nielsen Ole Damgaard: Today, I think the intensity of the game wasn’t as high. It was obvious that the result of the game didn’t matter too much for both sides. It was good to win, to keep the intensity and work hard. We’ll do our very to win the competition, we’ll need a bit of luck and give our best performance in the semi-final.

Denmark player, Marcus StroustrupIt’s a great feeling to win the best player award. I’ve had a tough start to the tournament, so it definitely feels good. Now I’m ready to play even more. As my coach said, Serbia and Denmark both already knew where they are going. It’s really exciting to be in the semifinal. All remaining teams are very good, we have to do our very best in every match, no matter who we play.

Serbia coach Aleksandar Radosavljevic: We started the game well, missed some easy shots and missed our opportunity to go ahead. Denmark went up and didn’t let the lead slip until the end. What mattered to me was for the guys to bounce back after yesteday, especially players like Jovica Nikolic who responded against the terrific Denmark squad. We were succeeding to break through at some points, our goalkeepers didn’t perform, but I’m happy overall. We played some excellent teams at the tournament, maybe we expected too much against France. We keep fighting.

Serbia player, Danilo Radovic: We started well, were keeping up well versus Denmark. We felt calm, because there wasn’t any pressure to get a result. Maybe if we had opened the match this way yesterday, it would have been better against France. Yesterday’s loss affected us too much, and we are only somewhat satisfied with the tournament. We will continue to work hard.

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