18 Aug. 2011
The semi-final fixtures of the IV Handball Men’s Youth WCh are determined. Sweden, Denmark, France and Spain had already been the semi-finalists of the Men’s World Championship.
France – Denmark
While the French were long down against title holder Croatia and succeeded only in the extra time period, the Danes had an easy job against Switzerland in the quarter-final. The Scandinavian 37:20 victory over the Swiss was the clearest quarter-final result of all. The way on how to succeed against Denmark was demonstrated by Korea, who achieved a draw, and Germany, who clearly defeated the team of coach Claus Hansen. Nevertheless, the French are beatable, too. In their first match of the tournament against Brazil, the young talents from France (World and European Champion) had to fight very long; in their last preliminary round match, Egypt put up strong resistance until the final whistle, and also the victory over Croatia, in consideration of the course of the game, may be indeed referred to as “lucky”. In short: The Men’s Youth World Champion of 2007 (Denmark) will meet the bronze medallist of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Sweden – Spain
If the probability applies that a recurring event occurs again, the Spaniards will be a length ahead, as Sweden finished third at the world title contests in 2007 as well as in 2009, and thus failed in the semi-final twice. However, the Scandinavians will certainly do everything to finally reach a WCh final on the third attempt. In the previous matches of this WCh, the North Europeans haven’t showed consistent performances. A weak start into the tournament – a poor draw against Bahrain – was followed by a convincing victory over Croatia. In the last preliminary round match against Slovenia, they had already fallen behind, but thanks to their fighting power they finally still achieved a draw. Against Egypt the Swedes mainly convinced the spectators by a concentrated performance in defence, a good goalkeeper and powerful and dynamic attacks.
Spain however confidently defeated Germany in the quarter-final, who had been regarded as favourite for the WCh title by many experts. In the round of the best eight, the Iberians showed their so far best performance of the tournament. Their recipe for success against the Germans included flexibility in attack and concentration in defence. If the Spaniards succeed in repeating this performance against Sweden, they are likely to reach the final.