21 Jan. 2019
Denmark secured their seventh victory in as many matches in their second main round match on Monday night, defeating a solid Egypt side thanks largely to their expert use of seven-on-six in the second half. Denmark could not relax until the buzzer, as Egypt kept fighting and always threatened to decrease the score line.
With the win, Denmark took their points tally to eight, where they sit above their rivals for the semi-final places, Sweden and Norway, both on six.
Egypt vs Denmark 20:26 (7:9)
As the current Olympic champions and semi-finalists at the last European championship, they are one of the strongest teams in the world – but Denmark often face trouble finding their rhythm against sides from outside their continent, and that was exactly the case on Monday night in Jyske Bank Boxen. Though Denmark maintained their perfect record at their home World Championship, they had some trouble getting there, as Egypt presented a solid challenge.
Egypt started with the first two goals of the match and kept the edge through the first quarter before Denmark took the lead. The African side’s defence, changing between 6-0 and 5-1, did an excellent job keeping Denmark’s usual starts such as Mikkel Hansen (five goals) and Rasmus Lauge (one goal) mostly quiet. It was not until the co-hosts employed the seven-on-six tactic in the second half that they began to create a clear gap.
Egypt’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Mohamed Eltayar had a great match, saving many clear chances for Denmark, including a penalty versus Mikkel Hansen in the first half. He left the court in the 50th minute after a run of goals from Denmark pulled the Scandinavian team in front to 21:17. A little earlier, Denmark coach Nikolaj Jacobsen had also changed his keeper, from captain Niklas Landin to Jannick Green.
Egypt left back Ali Zeinelabedin stood out in attack, scoring six goals for his side – mainly off spectacular jump shots from nine metres, while Eslam Eissa provided his usual excellent leadership from centre back.
Denmark had to keep working all the way to the whistle in order to collect the two points, but the win was secured when Green saved a penalty versus Ahmed Elahmar in the closing minutes.
Line player Anders Zachariassen received the hummel player of the match award.
Statements after the match:
David Davis, coach Egypt: Firstly, we played yesterday and again today. I have very big respect for Nikolaj and his team. We tried to surprise them today with our 5-1 defence, and it worked at the beginning. We got tired and didn’t know what to do. I’m proud of my players. They tried their best for 60 minutes and we have had a good tournament.
Nikolaj Jacobsen, coach Denmark: I would like to say thanks for a tough match. It was very difficult for us. We had a hard time with the 5-1 defence and couldn’t win the one-against-one matchups. We played too slow. We were good in defence. Started out with troubles, but the seven-against-six worked for us and probably ended up being the reason we won.