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Date: 7/13/2014
 

Thanks to a clear improvement in the defence after the break Denmark snatched away the bronze medal of the Women’s Junior World Championship in Croatia. Thanks to 12 saves of goalkeeper Ditte Vind and a late comeback the 2012 Youth World Champions took their in total seventh medal at Junior World Championships and their third bronze medal. For the Danes it was the second straight third rank after winning bronze at the 2013 European championship. The unlucky Germans left the field empty-handed.


Bronze final: Denmark - Germany 21:20 (11:14)

Tears of joy on the one side, tears of frustration on the other: While Germany had been constantly ahead until minute 47, the Danes finally took the bronze rank - and won by a one-goal distance like in the group match of both before (26:25).

In the first 30 minutes, the Germans had the stronger goalkeeper, the more aggressive defence and the higher precision in their attacks to be ahead well-deservedly by a three goal margin. Denmark partly still seemed to be suffering from the semi-final defeat against Russia, while the Germans were full of confidence and passion.

Left back Xenia Smits again was unstoppable, in addition right back Maren Weigel (top scorer by six goals) was in a strong form -and in defence goalkeeper Dinah Eckerle showed a good cooperation with their middle block.

The Danes tried hard to be on level after the 5:5, but when Smits stroke for the fourth time, the German were ahead by four goals for the first time at 10:7 and even made it to 13:8, before the favoured Danes after already two time-outs reduced the margin in the final stages of the first half.


And right after the break both teams did not manage to score for ten minutes long(!)  -mainly as the defence sides stood like solid as a rock and both goalkeepers - Eckerle and Danish Ditte Vind - saved brilliantly. But when Saskia Putzke scored for the 15:11 the spell had been broke - but from that moment on more for the Danes than the Germans. In minute 45 they had leveled the match at 15:15, as the German so far had only scored once after the break. When Amalie Wichmann scored for the 17:16 the Scandinavians had turned the tide.


Germany had lost their rhythm, precision and their initial confidence completely, while Ditte Vind grew and grew between the goal bars. The Danes intensely defended against Smits to “steal” their most efficient weapon and forged ahead to their first three goal margin at 20:17 in minute 54. The Germans stroke back, but could not bridge the gap completely in the final stages - including missing their last chance, a direct free throw of Xenia Smits.

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