Denmark eliminated from European men’s handball championship

The week began with optimistic predictions and high ambitions, but a draw against Sweden on Tuesday and defeat by Germany 24 hours later sends them packing

“An incomprehensible and embarrassing failure,” is how tabloid Ekstra Bladet described yesterday’s performance of the Danish men’s team at the European Handball Championship in Poland.

Just 24 hours after the inexplicable concession of three goals in the last two minutes cost Denmark a valuable point against Sweden, the red and whites conceded four late goals without reply to lose 23-25 to Germany.

There will be many who will argue that Germany had an extra day to prepare for the game, but in the end the Danes ran out of ideas, not energy as their 23-21 lead evaporated. They failed to score a single goal in the final seven minutes of the match.

One of the players, Michael Damgaard, feels personally responsibile for the defeat.

“I feel like jumping off a bridge. I feel really responsible because I missed too many chances,” Damgaard told TV2.

Damgaard scored just three out of his 11 shots, while Mikkel Hansen converted seven out of his 11 efforts.

Germans more rested
Germany’s coach, Dagur Sigurdsson, conceded that his team were more rested than the Danes as they did not play on Tuesday and could instead watch the Danish match against Sweden.

“We watched the match against Sweden and it matched our plan to play 4-2 and 6-0 in the defence and move around a bit. Also in attack,” Sigurdsson told Ekstra Bladet.

“We adjusted only a few details and it helped us.”

Germany now face Norway in the semis, while Croatia play Spain, who overtook Denmark in the standings thanks to a win against Russia last night.