26 Jan. 2023
While France, Sweden, Denmark and Spain celebrate their second straight World Championship semi-finals, four defeated teams must prepare for their placement matches 5-8. The winners of the placement matches will fight for fifth place on Sunday (29 January), while the defeated teams will face off for seventh place.
- 15:30 CET Germany vs Egypt
Germany are disappointed after the 28:35 defeat by France, and they will have to find the strength to get back on track. Alfreð Gíslason's team are now on a negative streak. After five clear wins, Germany suffered a defeat against Norway in the main round and against France in the quarter-finals. Finding an incentive after being eliminated from the medal battle is hard.
"We made it into the top eight. It ended the way it did. Of course we'd like to move up now. To finish fifth would be a great result for us and I think the team has learned a lot this month", said Gíslason to handball.net when asked about placement matches.
Egypt have been stopped in the quarter-finals for the second time in a row at the World Championship. After being eliminated from the world flagship handball competition by Denmark after a crazy penalty shoot-out at home in 2021, once again the Scandinavian country stood in their way.
Both teams have strong defences, with Germany having a small advantage between the posts with Andreas Wolff. Ali Mohamed (Zein) and Yahia El-Deraa will test their strong shots, as will young gun Juri Knorr. Germany's 22-year-old centre back is currently the fifth top scorer of the World Championship with 42 goals.
While these two teams will meet in the placement match 5-8, the last time they crossed paths was in the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, when Egypt won by 31:26. It was their 35th encounter. However, at the World Championship, they met only four times, and all four went on Germany's side.
- 18:00 CET Norway vs Hungary
What to say about Norway's and Hungary's quarter-finals matches… One side had a tough 80-minutes battle after losing a lead only 16 seconds before the final whistle, while their opponents outclassed the other.
Norway had everything in their hands 16 seconds before the end with a 25:24 lead and last attack. As Spain played pressing defence, Norway panicked in the last moments. Nothing else can describe the last moment of Norway's attack as Kristian Bjørnsen did not go for a goal but rather passed the ball back and the Slovenian referees signalled the passive play.
In two over-times, Spain took the win and left the Norwegians sad but proud of the performance at the World Championship.
"We did our job well today and had a really good chance to go through to the semi-finals. We just kept fighting and that showed in both the first and second extra time. It's hard to go out after the double extra time, but it is what it is. I'm proud of the guys for doing what we could ", said Norway captain Christian O'Sullivan to ihf.info when asked.
The Hungarian luck which gave them a spot in the quarter-finals left them ahead of the clash against Denmark. Chema Rodríguez's team could not keep up with the imposed rhythm of the reigning champions. After trailing by six already in the first half, it was obvious that Hungary were not putting up the fight.
"We didn't plan the match against Denmark the way it ended. However, we have two more matches. We want to improve for them and play better than this", said Richárd Bodó to nemezetisport.hu.
Norway are in the lead in head-to-head duels with eight wins in 15 matches. When it comes to the World Championship, the two sides have met seven times so far, and Hungary have a narrow lead of four victories, even though the last encounter went to Norway's side – 35:26 at Egypt 2021.