Handball European Championship: Norway on the verge of elimination, Denmark and Sweden confident

As of: January 17, 2024 10:02 p.m

Top favorite Denmark (39:27 against the Netherlands) and defending champion Sweden (28:22 against Slovenia) got off to an impressive start in the main round of the European Handball Championship on Wednesday (January 17, 2024) and each have a perfect starting position in the fight for the semi-finals. Norway is a long way from that after their 32:37 (15:18) win against Portugal.

For the Norwegians, who now have to win their remaining games, it was already the second defeat because they lost the preliminary round game against Slovenia, who also qualified for the main round. Meanwhile, Portugal celebrated its first win in Group II, whose games will be played in Hamburg, which counts towards qualifying for the semi-finals. The Iberians, whose biggest international success so far was sixth place at the 2020 European Championship, survived the preliminary round with the risk of a significant defeat against Denmark.

Main round, 1st matchday arrow right

Norway only initially strong

Norway, led by star player Sander Sagosen from THW Kiel, only dominated the first 20 minutes of the first half against the Portuguese. After that, they had less and less control over the mobile southern Europeans. Pedro Portella (eight goals) and Martim Costa (seven) in particular were unstoppable. Kristian Björnsen (six) scored best for the Norwegians, while Sagosen only contributed two goals.

Denmark and Sweden dominant

Denmark had big problems against the strong Dutch for almost 40 minutes, with the score 23:22 for the world champions, the wheat was separated from the chaff. With a 7-0 sprint within six minutes, the Danes pulled away unassailable and also won their fourth game at the European Championships. The Berlin Bundesliga professional Mathias Gidsel was the best thrower with nine hits, and the former world handball player Mikkel Hansen and the ex-Flensburg player Rasmus Lauge also played well with five hits each. The Netherlands, on the other hand, with two main round defeats like Norway, only have a slim chance of progressing.

The Dutchman Rutger ten Velde can no longer stop Denmark’s Mathias Gidsel.

Like Denmark, Sweden now has two wins to its name, the European champions from two years ago delivered a consistently convincing performance against Slovenia and did not have any serious problems in any phase. Both Northern Europeans have a perfect record so far, and there will be a direct duel on Friday (January 19, 2024).

Lucas Pellas (Montpellier) scored eight times for the Swedes, while Bundesliga professionals Eric Johansson (Kiel) and Albin Lagergren (Magdeburg) each scored three goals.

DHB team starts the main round against Iceland

For Germany, the main round starts on Thursday (January 18, 2024) with the game against Iceland (live stream from 8:15 p.m.). The other opponents in Group I two days later are Austria, Hungary (January 22, 2024) and Croatia (January 24, 2024), France, against which the DHB team suffered a 30:33 defeat on Tuesday (January 16, 2024).

Group I, table arrow right


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