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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 12/15/2017

2016 Olympic runners-up and EHF EURO 2016 bronze medallists France booked a place in the final with a two-goal win against Sweden, which was secured in the last 90 seconds of the semi-final on Friday evening in Hamburg. France will meet defending champions Norway in the trophy match, making it the second IHF World Championship these two nations have contested in 2017, after the men’s teams did so at the 25th IHF Men’s World Championship in January.


“Of course, I am very happy about the result tonight. It was a tough game against Sweden. Our goalkeeper [Amandine Leynaud] was fantastic. This is not a surprise because she is at her best age, her best level. She helped us a lot,” said France’s Allison Pineau after the match. “I don’t have so much to say – I have so many emotions right now.”


Sweden vs France 22:24 (12:11)


It was a thrilling finish to the second semi-final of the night in Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, as France took an equal score of 22:22 with 90 seconds left on the clock to a two-goal score line in the favour at the final buzzer. In a game where the lead changed hands during the first 50 minutes, before a level end, France proved the stronger side thanks to a faster pace on counter attacks, another superb performance from goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud (40%), and more structured attack.


While Sweden had some bright moments, including a 6:1 run through the last seven minutes of the first half that earned the EHF EURO 2014 bronze medallists a one-goal lead at the break, France were more composed in the crucial moments before the buzzer. France returned from half-time stronger, taking a 19:15 lead by the 45th minute before Sweden came back with four consecutive goals. 2009 World Handball Player of the Year Pineau showed her experience as she scored three important goals in the last 10 minutes, including the equaliser in the 56th and the strike that pulled France in front to 23:22.


After Sweden lost the ball on their second last attack, right wing Blandine Dancette scored the game-winning goal, and Amandine Leynaud saved the final shot to secure the victory.


“We are very disappointed. It was a very hard game. We knew their defence is the best in the world, and the things that passed their defence...Leynaud was in the way,” said Sweden centre back Isabelle Gullden. “In the end you could see their experienced players.”


Player of the Match presented by adidas: Amandine LEYNAUD (FRA)