15 Aug. 2019
After Germany built a brick wall against Hungary in the preceding quarter-final at the Boris Trajkovski Arena, Denmark built one too, against Spain, but they constructed it a little later – in the last quarter, to take a four-goal (23:19) victory and move into the semi-finals on Saturday, where they will face the Germans.
The result is Denmark’s seventh win in a row at North Macedonia in the 2019 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship, with the Scandinavian nation the historic best side having taken three titles and a bronze medal.
Spain vs Denmark 19:23 (10:9)
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje
A second half comeback and defensive stand from Denmark saw them overturn a half-time deficit against Spain and move clear by six (21:15) as the game entered the last five minutes.
Spain could not score for 13 minutes in the last quarter as they moved from a 15:15 draw to going 21:15 down.
With 10 saves from goalkeeper Svend Bro Rughave in the game he rightly received the best player of the match, but, crucially, seven were in the second half, during that period of Danish dominance.
“The defence from Spain was very, very good early on and we couldn’t find any solution as we were too slow,” said Denmark coach Simon Sorensen to IHF.info after the match. “We played physically and found more speed and that’s what tipped the match for us. Our defending was very good, Svend in goal was fantastic, more physic than Spain was the key.
“It’s nice to be in the medal round but what is most important is to get the experience for players to take back to their clubs.”
Spain coach Alberto Suarez acknowledged that maybe their exertions against Sweden last night in their eighth-final victory played a part in the defeat, but was clear about the keys to victory for the Danes. "We started well but into second half maybe we were a little tired from yesterday's tough match," he said. "We could not play on the same level, made some mistakes and Denmark is a strong team."
Best player of the match: Svend Bro Rughave (DEN)
Photo: WCH 2019 / Filip Viranovski