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Handball EM: World champion Denmark leaves no doubt

World champion Denmark has reached the semi-finals of the European Handball Championship prematurely.

The team around backcourt star Mikkel Hansen beat the Netherlands 35:23 (21:12) in Budapest on Monday and is now in the lead in main round group 1 with eight points. The top two teams in the group of six qualify for the semifinals.

With seven goals, Hansen was one of the best throwers of the encounter, only team-mate Mathias Gidsel was even stronger with nine goals. For the Netherlands, Dani Baijens of German second division side ASV Hamm-Westfalen stood out with six goals.

Behind the Danes, the race remains open before the last day of play, in the battle for second place, Olympic champions France and Iceland follow with 4 points each. However, France will play against Montenegro later in the evening (20:30/each Eurosport).

Disappointment for Iceland after the coup

Iceland was already in action on Monday afternoon – and suffered a setback after the big coup: Just two days after the clear victory against record world champions France (29:21), they beat Croatia late, 22:23 (12:10). The Croatians, who started as one of the favourites, got their first two points in the main round.

Iceland were still ahead in the closing stages, but Ante Gadza scored 12 seconds before the end to give Croatia victory. SC Magdeburg’s Omar Ingi Magnusson was one of Iceland’s top scorers with five goals, while TSV Hannover-Burgdorf’s Ivan Martinovic scored the same.

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