Denmark European champion

The Danish men’s handball team beat Serbia 21-19 in a closely fought final

Despite being seconds from going home winless after the preliminary round, Denmark claimed victory over host Serbia to win the European men’s European handball championship.

Holding a narrow margin throughout much of the match in Belgrade, Denmark, coming off a dramatic win against Spain on Friday, held on down the stretch to win 21-19.

With about ten minutes to go, it appeared Serbia, playing without a key player who suffered an eye injury during the team’s semi-final, was on its way back into the match after a penalty put the Danish side a man down.

About a minute later, a penalty throw that goalie Niklas Landin was unable to nab allowed the Serbs to pull within a single goal. 

Denmark, however, regained its two goal edge after a Serbian pentalty and physical play, led by the efforts of Mikkel Hansen, who gave Denmark a 19-17 lead with about eight minutes remaining. 

Again with its lead trimmed to one, Denmark went up again by two goals after Rasmus Lauge picked up his own rebound and blasted a throw past the Serbian keeper. 

Trailing by two goals, Serbia, which had beat rival Croatia to qualify for the finals, never come closer. 

Hansen capped the scoring with his game high ninth goal as time wound down to make it 21-18.

Tonight’s gold medal comes after Denmark took silver in the world champions in 2011 in Sweden. 

Denmark was last European Champion in 2008, when it beat Croatia.

With the win, Denmark also qualifies for this yearÂ’s London Olympics.