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Date: 1/22/2017
 

Hungary pull off one of a huge shock in their eighth-final in Albertville in south-eastern France. Xavier Sabate’s men send home the Olympic champions with a controlled and mature performance, which saw them hold a lead over Danes from start to finish. This was the first win in a major competition for Hungary over Denmark since 2007. Hungary will now play Norway in the quarter-final on Tuesday (24.01) at 17:00 in Albertville.

 

Eighth-final: Hungary vs Denmark 27:25 (13:12), Albertville 

 

Perhaps boost by the return of captain Laszlo Nagy to the camp, Hungary came bursting out of the gates, and with five minutes gone, they found themselves 4:1 up. Led by an allusive Mate Lekai and solid Roland Mikler between the posts – who had already saved three of the Dane’s four shots – Hungary were clinically focused in front of a sold-out Albertville arena (6,540).

 

In the 13th minute, Nagy popped up in the Dane’s half and netted his first goal (6:4) since returning from injury. Young prospect, Adam Juhasz, further punished the Dane’s slow start (7:4), prompting Denmark’s Icelandic-born coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson to call a time-out (14’). Coming back with more urgency in defence, the Danes managed to pull it level though a signature Mikkel Hansen underarm jump-shot (8:8, 21’). It was Hansen (8/13) scoring on one side and the allusive Lekai (6/14 top scorer) assisting on the other who were the real engines for both sides; it stayed level right up until Ancsin Gabor gave Hungary a one-goal half-time lead (13:12).

 

In the second half, the Hungarians came out with the same intention as the did in the first, establishing a three-goal lead over the lackluster Danes off some silky back court movement finished off by Iman Jamali (19:16, 41’). Roland Mikler, was having a stormer between the Hungarians posts with another four massive saves in the opening period.

 

Two further goals from Jamali (4/6) and Zsolt Balogh (4/5) put the Hungarian’s four up, forcing another time-out for the Olympic champions (21:17, 45’). Svan (6/7) and Damgaard (3/8) for Denmark suddenly went up in gears putting up a 5:1 run between them, and amazingly the Danes were back level (23:23, 53’).

 

A rocket underarm shot from Balogh, Gabor Csaszar showing up to net his first and a save at the other end from Mikler (his 15th in total) – and we were on our way to a sensation (26:24, 29’)! A quick Hansen goal, and his only of the second half, brought it back to a one-goal gap. With only 20 seconds left, the Hungarians were in possession with the Danes pressing high, when Csaszar found himself alone in front of goal, and the Kadetten Schaffhausen man calmly bounced it under Landin to send home one of the hot France 2017 favourites, Denmark (27:25).

 

Post-match reactions:

 

Gudmundur Gudmundsson, coach (DEN): “I think Hungary played better than us today. We had problems from the start. In my opinion, we were playing too slowly. And our defence didn’t perform as we wished. But I think in the last 15 minutes of the first half we managed to play a better defence, nevertheless, we never came into the situation to lead the game. That was difficult. That’s the way it is. We’ve been fighting in this tournament very well up until now and we played six games and we won five so, of course, it’s a big disappointment for us to exit the tournament like this.”

 

Gabor Csaszar, (HUN): “We fought like we never fought before so that was the big difference for us. In the group phase we didn’t play as well as we wanted. But it’s sport, it’s a World Championship and today it was about going home or staying in the competition. Maybe Denmark thought we are not in the best shape. Laszlo Nagy came back, he helped us so much in defence, he was the leader in the defence and in attack we always found someone who could score. Our goalkeeper was excellent, our defence was great – if you play like this it’s a little bit easier to win the games.”

 

Player of the Match awarded by Adidas: Roland MIKLER (HUN)

 

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