26 Jul. 2013
Thanks to a brilliant performance of goalkeeper Peter Johannesson and a strong first half Sweden is the first finallist of the Men’s Junior World Championship in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They beat France in the first semi-final on Friday (26 July) in Sarajevo by 29:24 (17:11). The Scandinavians are in a final of a Men’s Junior World Championship for the sixth time after 1985, 1991, 1999, 2003 and 2007. France missed the great chance to reach their first ever World Championship final in any men’s younger age category. Additionally France missed to take revenge for the defeat against Sweden in the bronze final of the Youth World Championship 2011 in Argentina (24:28).
France – Sweden 24:29 (11:17)
Intermediately they were shaken, but finally they did not fall: Sweden took their eighth victory in their eighth match in Bosnia-Herzegovina in style in the end, while France caused too many mistakes or failed against Johannesson. Sweden – Junior World Champion in 2003 and 2007 – will face the winner of the second semi – Croatia vs. Spain – on Sunday (28 July) for gold.
Sweden was completely dominant in the first half. Thanks to their tall middle block defenders Anton Lindskog and Philip Stenmalm and brilliant Johannesson they allowed the French team only to score eleven goals. France lacked the means and ideas to get through this wall. On the other hand, Sweden was highly efficient in their counter attacks by Andreas Berg and Daniel Petterson and also scored by their back court shooters. As the French defence was not close enough to the Swedish attackers, the “tre kronor” team took over the control after the 4:4 and easily forged ahead to 12:9. Even two time-outs did not stop the French downswing – in contrast: Sweden added another 5:2 series to their tally for the half-time score of 17:11.
But right after the break, Sweden lost their confidence and rhythm, causing a huge number of mistakes in attack. And they only had to thank Johannesson that France - backed in this period by right back Jordan Camarero - could not take a major profit, but only reduced to two goals at 17:19.
France improved in defence, Sweden became nervous – and suddenly everything was open again in the middle of the second half. When France was close to turn the match at 19:21, Sweden took a time-out – but nothing changed. The Scandinavians still could hear the French breath in their necks. But in this crucial stage, Johannesson still stood like a rock. With five minutes on the clock the distance was still two goals at 23:25.
But from that moment on the number of French mistakes increased rapidly and Sweden easily forged ahead to the decisive score of 26:23 in minute 58.
Top scorers were Petterson and Lagergren by seven goals each for Sweden and Camarero, scoring five times for France.