28 Jan. 2023
The final day in Stockholm begins with two placement matches. For the second time at Poland/Sweden 2023, Germany will face Norway in search of their first World Championship win against the Scandinavian side. The second ones to take the court will be Egypt and Hungary, lining up for seventh place.
- 13:00 CET Germany vs Norway
This will be a rematch of the Main Round Group III last match, when the two sides were in the battle for the top of the group. Now both were eliminated from the quarter-finals with a win in the placement matches and they meet again in the clash for fifth place.
Finishing fifth was not in the plans for Germany and Norway, but they will give their all on the court to get the best possible ranking. After finishing 12th at the 2021 Men's World Championship, this is a step up for Germany. Since 2009, their best placement was fourth place at the 2019 edition.
On the other hand, Norway was runners-up at the 2017 and 2019 Men's World Championship, only to end as the sixth-placed team at Egypt 2021. Therefore, they can move up one place, which would be their third-best result at the World Championship since 1958.
The last match in the Main Round Group III ended 28:26 in Norway's favour, with both side goalkeepers having a great day – Andreas Wolff stopped ten shots and Torbjørn Bergerud was on 12 saves. If Norway want to take a more straightforward win, they need to stop Juri Knorr, the last time's eight-goal scorer, and take advantage of Germany's faltered performance against Egypt in the last match.
"We achieved our goal and went into the match for fifth place, but of course we're not happy with how things went against Egypt. We will try to end with a win", said German line player and captain Johannes Golla to handball.net
Norway have been a victorious side against Germany at the World Championships. Aside from the draw at the 2005 Men's World Championship, Norway have won all four other encounters.
- 15:30 CET Egypt vs Hungary
Egypt have a chance to claim their seventh place, the same spot they earned at their home World Championship in 2021. They will need to conquer Hungary, who have never placed worse than ninth place since 2003.
The Hungarians had ups and downs throughout the competition, earning their spot in the quarter-finals by luck and Portugal's bad performance against Sweden. Chema Rodríguez's team could not keep up with the reigning champions Denmark and were later defeated by Norway, proving they fired all efforts by reaching the top eight teams.
Egypt had a great start to the World Championship, leaving Croatia on minus nine and securing themselves the spot in the quarter-finals, but were left short against the co-hosts Sweden.
However, the Egyptians never gave up, even when trailing by seven against Germany, they rebounded and took the match into extra time. Roberto Parrondo's team will try to put up the same fight against Hungary and finish the Poland/Sweden 2023 journey victorious.
Hungarian goalkeeper Roland Mikler believes his team can cap off a good performance and win the last match at the World Championship: "Against Egypt, everyone has to give everything on the court until the last minute. We have to play a last match that is worthy of us. The Swedish, Danish or Norwegian teams are clearly far ahead of us, but if we show our best face on Sunday, we can be good opponents for Egypt. Getting the seventh place is not an impossible task."
Hungary and Egypt have only met three times at the World Championship - in 1993, 2013 and 2019. The first two encounters went to the Hungarian side, while the 2019 group D match ended in a draw (30:30).