IHF World Cup XXVII | Match Summary – Spain vs Denmark
January 29, 2021
By J. Schuetz
Spain – Denmark 33:35 (16:18)
Before the Match
As the reigning champion, Denmark was aiming to join the exclusive club of nations (Romania, Sweden, France) that have enjoyed back-to-back world championship success.
Spain – in case of a victory – would return to the final match of a World Cup after their two previous wins thus far in the competition (2001 (Tunisia) and 2013 (Spain)).
Denmark will get a chance to defend their title in the last match of the tournament, following the narrow win against Spain.
The 2013 World Champion was trailing throughout the match, although they cut the lead to one goal on several occasions. But, every time it looked like Entrerrios & Co. were on their way to turn the table Denmark stepped up and maintained a two-goal advantage.
Denmark jumped to an early 4:2 lead (5th minute), while Spain’s back-court trio was clicking on only one cylinder (A. Dujshebaev).
By minute eighteen, Magnus Landin had opened a five-goal gap and for a moment it felt like the team of head coach, Nikolaj Jacobsen, would be able to blow the game wide open.
Instead, the back-to-back European champions stayed close and long range shooting improved when Jorge Maqueda (3/3) and D. Dujshebaev (3/4) got involved. At the half Spain had cut Denmark’s lead to two.
After the break, the reigning word champions continued where they had left off after 30 minutes. Mikkel Hansen and line player, Magnus Saugstrup dominated in offense and on the other side of the pitch Kevin Moller – he had replaced Niklas Landin in goal – did his best to maintain the margin of difference.
But, after the red card against Denmark’s defense specialist, Henrik Mollgaard (40th minute), the match took a different turn and six minutes later, Spain had cut the deficit to one.
The Scandinavians continued to stay in the lead, but Spain remained dangerously close and two minutes before the end of the match, line player Ruben Marchan failed to score the equalizer. His shot bounced off the crossbar, but did not cross the line.
30 seconds to go. 😬
— Handball Egypt2021 (@Egypt2021EN) January 29, 2021
Moments later, right wing, Lasse Svan, did a better job, when he scored his third goal effectively putting the game out of reach.
This time the goalkeepers would not make the difference. The 2019 World Handball Player of the Year, Niklas Landin, made room for his colleague Kevin Moller after 25 minutes and on the other side Perez de Vargas was replaced by Rodrigo Corrales during the first half as well.
Only Moller (25% saves) made his presence felt, while Corrales (zero saves) was unable to repeat his outstanding performance of the quarterfinal match against Norway.
Instead, superstar Mikkel Hansen (12/17) proved his worth and together with Magnus Saugstrup on the line and a flawless Mathias Gidsel (right back), they combined for 23 of 35 Danish goals.
On the other side, the Dujshebaev brothers together with right back, Jorge Maqueda, could not quite compensate for the subpar performance of their teammates in the backcourt, R. Entrerrios and J. Canellas.
J. Maqueda (5), A. Dujshebaev (4), F. Sole (3), A. Figueras (6), A. Gomez (3), A. Arino (2), R. Marchan (3), D. Dujshebaev (7)
M. Landin (2), E. Jakobsen (1), M. Saugstrup (7), L. Svan (3), M. Hansen (12), M. Olsen (4), L. Andersson (1), M. Gidsel (4), S. Hald (1)
Mikkel Hansen & Co. will get a chance to defend their title against the surprise team from Sweden, who defeated France 32:26 in the first semifinal of the day and return to a World Cup final for the first time in 20 years.