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Photo: Uroš Hočevar

Magnificent Sweden overplayed Denmark and enter the Final

Sweden were a little bit faster, a little bit stronger, more enthusiastic and played with little more flair.

In the first five minutes, Denish goalkeeper Svend B. Rughave had two amazing saves in a row, his teammates gained one-point lead (2:1) and that was the only time during the entire match that Denmark had the upper hand over the game. Two key players, Ludvig Hallback and Emil Berlin led Swedish attack. While Denmark tried to keep up with fast Swedish player, Sweden were playing their fast handball and 14 minutes into the first halftime they gained their first two-point lead (5:7). After four minutes Denmark’s coach called team timeout after Valter Chrintz scored for a first three-point lead for Sweden. The problem was that shorter Swedish player that were lighter on their legs found their way on the right side. So when Denmark tried to close that gap, space opened on the left side. Swedish defence was strong and even when Danish shot would found it’s way toward Sweden’s goal, Norsten was a wall they couldn’t break. He saved three penalty shots and his partner Simon Moller one penalty shot. It was last minute of the first halftime when Casper Kall scores for first Swedish four-point lead, Norsten saved new Danish blow and after their team timeout Oskar Joelsson score for a five-point lead. The first halftime ended with the result 10:15 for Sweden.

In the second halftime, Sweden were just keeping the pace. They were fast in fastbreak and overturns. Their strong defence was pressuring Danmark to make plenty of mistakes. Every Danish score was forced out by Magnus Haburo or scored from a far distance by Mads Hoxer Hangaard. Swedish advantage was just increasing. It was minute 42 and Hallback scored for six-point advantage (14:20). Even when Emil Berlin from Sweden got 2-minutes suspension, Norsten saved Denish attempt to decrease their deficit, and Sweden even managed to increase their advantage. Denmark’s game fell apart. Even a team timeout 10 minutes before the end didn’t help. They were just waiting for the torture to end. The final result was magnificent 31:22 for Sweden. Among all Swedish heroes, the biggest on was goalkeeper Fabian Norsten. After their victory audience was chanting his name.

The best player for the national team of Sweden was goalkeeper Fabian Norsten, the best player for the national team of Sweden was Mads Hoxer Hangaard.

Top scorer for Sweden was Ludvig Hallback with five scored goal, and for Denmark, that was Mads Hoxer Hangaard with six scored goals.

Denmark’s coach, Ole Nielsen Damgaard: Sweden played a very good game. I think they haven’t made a single mistake in their attacking game today. Everything just went in goal, so we were trailing early in the game and got stressed a little bit, and didn’t really come close. We missed four penalties today, too. When Sweden created a gap and played with a lot of confidence. We played five very good and need to play one more to get a bronze medal. We were happy to be here in the semifinal and would have loved to win today, but today Sweden was just better.’

Denmark’s player Mads Hoxer Hangaard: Sweden was very good, our attack was a mess compared to theirs. They were just brilliant. Their goalkeeper was also very good today, and of course, he had a lot of help from his defense. We will go for the bronze medal now, and put 100% in so we win the medal on Sunday.’

Sweden’s coach, Dennis Sandberg: I think it was one of our best performances so far, we did a very good defensive job in all 60 minutes, which was important since we struggled to do that in the tournament. I know we can always score 30 goals, but we have to get stops at the back. I’m so, so happy. The defence made the difference today, Denmark’s defence was great all tournament, so it was amazing to score 31. The guys did great, and we are at the party, in the final!’

Sweden’s player, Fabian Norsten: I think defence made the difference today, clearly. At the beginning of the tournament we had some defensive problems, but in the end, we played so well. Clearly, I have had luck with the penalties at the tournament, it keeps us going. We prepare for the final just like we did before. We just come in and play well from the first minute, that’s what we are going to do in the final, too.’

Semifinal 1

Denmark – Sweden 22:31 (10:15)

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