Denmark win again, but Nigeria's 15-year-old right back is the star

09 Aug. 2019

Denmark win again, but Nigeria's 15-year-old right back is the star

With their third win in three games, Denmark moved towards the eighth-finals of the 2019 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship. Their victory against Nigeria was expected before the game, but what was not expected - maybe - was Nigeria’s 15-year-old right back Faruk Yusuf to steal the show with 10 goals and win the best player of the match award.

Denmark vs Nigeria 35:22 (21:8)
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje

After beating Japan and Argentina in their two previous matches, Denmark made light work of Nigeria today to move towards the next round of North Macedonia 2019, but they will surely be looking at how they were unable to deal with a remarkable performance from the youngest player at the championship.

Right back Faruk Yusuf turned 15 years old in February and therefore was eligible to play in the championship in Skopje and he promptly turned in a great performance, scoring 10 times with 18 attempts as Nigeria put 22 goals past the M18 EHF EURO bronze medal winners.

His performance was despite a disastrous start for the bronze medal winners of Africa, who failed to score their first goal until the 12th minute, but by that time they were already seven goals down.

The rest of the half was a little bit more equal, but by the break Denmark were up by 13 goals (21:8). The second half was equal (14:14) as the Danes maybe played in a lower gear than they are capable of, and rotated their bench, but still, they could not cope with Yusuf, who time and time again found the net, either from the seven metre (5/5) or nine metre (four strikes).

When his name was announced as the winner of the best player award, not only was he congratulated by his own team, but by the Danish players and coaching staff, recognising the performance of the young player.

“The level of Danish handball and the level of Nigerian handball are two totally different things,” said Nigeria coach Emeka Nnanami after the match to “We tried to fight, but in the end they were too big and too strong for us.”

With six strikes each, Jeppe Cieslak and Oliver Juhl Refsgaard top-scored for Denmark.

Best Player of the Match: Faruk Yusuf (NGR)

Photo: WCH 2019 / Filip Viranovski