Denmark win do-or-die match and advance to main round
06 Dec. 2019
The last match of group B promised to be an exciting one as the spectators in Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium could watch powerhouse Denmark and 2017 world champions France battle it out for the third and last spot in the main round. Denmark had to go for ‘all or nothing’ as in case of a draw, France would have grabbed the ticket.
The tension was palpable in a match which kept the spectators on the edge of their seats until the final minute as none of the teams could take and keep a decisive lead. Ultimately, hummel Player of the Match Sandra Toft made the difference as the Danish goalkeeper saved at an impressive 47% rate and made the 20:18 win possible.
France vs Denmark 18:20 (7:9)
From the beginning, it was clear that both teams would fight hard to get the much-needed points to advance to the main round. The defence stood strong on both sides and seven minutes into the game, both teams were still locked at 1:1.
In the 13th minute, Denmark managed to get three in front (5:2) but five and a half minutes later, France equalised after a 3-0 run. Before the half-time buzzer sounded, the Danish team were two ahead again.
In the second half, once again, France levelled the game after a three-goal lead from Denmark (10:10 in minute 34) but let the Danish team pull away one more time. The four-goal lead in minute 50 (16:12) caused French coach Olivier Krumbholz to take a team time-out – and it worked. France worked hard and came within one again. However, when Manon Houette had the chance to equalise, Sandra Toft was in the way and denied France this important goal. Instead, Denmark scored on the other end and went two ahead again.
In the final minute, France had reduced the gap to one but then caused a penalty 16 seconds before the final whistle. Anne-Mette Hansen did make no mistake and scored, making it 20:18 for Denmark and destroying every hope France had still left to at least draw.
Top scorer of the match was Stine Jorgensen (Denmark) with seven goals, followed closely by Alexandra Lacrabere (France) with six.
hummel Player of the Match: Sandra Toft (DEN)