IHF World Cup XXVII | Player Ranking – Spain vs Denmark
January 29, 2021
By Chris O’Reilly
Denmark booked their spot in the Egypt 2021 final and a date with Scandi neighbours Sweden on Sunday. They were pushed all the way in their 35:33 win by a Spanish side who never knew when they were beaten.
Here are the ratings for all players involved in the match and the two head coaches, with everyone rated on a scale from 1 (the worst) to 10 (the best).
Coach – Jordi Ribera – 7
Ribera and Spain taste defeat for the first time in 19 competitive matches and based on the opening 20 minutes, I didn’t think it would be close. But despite Denmark’s edge and Spain’s defence uncharacteristically leaking, Jordi kept finding solutions to keep his team within touching distance and it was merely a bounce off the crossbar that prevented them from taking it to extra-time.
Daniel Dujshebaev – 9
It’s not pretty but it’s damn effective. An unlikely hero for Spain today, playing the longest on court for his team, scrapping and flinging himself around wherever and however it was needed to score a goal. He scored a couple of gorgeous back court shots as well but it’s the scrappy ones that make me appreciate him more.
Adrian Figueras – 8
Well, we got to discover first hand why he doesn’t play defence, thanks to a suspension he got while caught there, but enough of that. He was brilliant in attack today. Everything he touched on the line turned into goals, six from six in 14 minutes on court is a brilliant return and makes you wonder what could have been if he were on from the start.
Jorge Maqueda – 8
One of the driving forces for Spain as they came back into the game late in the first half and while goals were hard to come by early in the second. His presence was vital at both ends of the court today.
Alex Dujshebaev – 8
In terms of goals, he was in the unusual position of being the second most effective Dujshebaev brother as he had a fairly frustrating day in front of goal. This didn’t stop him from getting stuck in, however, and still had a big part to play with seven assists to go with his four goals.
Aleix Gomez – 8
Scored an important penalty and a brilliant goal late on when he appeared as the second line player. Grabbed a pair of steals as well as Spain mounted an unlikely comeback.
Gonzalo Perez De Vargas – 7
Started between the posts and it did not go well for him. After it went just as poorly for Corrales, he was back on and markedly improved. His final tally of seven saves was not stunning but his performance late on was. Produced some top class saves to give Spain a real chance of sending the game to extra-time.
Aitor Arino – 7
Started on the left wing and did what was needed of him in a patient performance. Only received the ball every 10 minutes or so but when he did, he put it in the back of the net.
Ruben Marchan – 7
After he gained plenty of attention with his quarter-final performance, Denmark were on to him today. Didn’t receive nearly as much ball this time but still made good use of what he did get, scoring three from four shots, with his only miss the excruciating final shot, which hit the underside of the crossbar and stayed out, denying Spain a late equaliser.
Ferran Sole – 7
Scored Spain’s first goal, from about 10 metres no less, which was desperately needed. Provided two more after that, plus a steal, in his first half appearance. Solid performance from the dependable wing.
Viran Morros – 5
Wasn’t able to have the impact and marshal the Spanish defence the way he would have liked to today. For him and Spain it was all about reacting to Denmark rather than dictating the flow of their attack and it didn’t suit them.
Gedeon Guardiola – 5
Was in a very similar situation playing alongside Morros. Nabbed a couple of steals and was slightly better suited to Denmark’s attack but still could not impose his will on their back court or line player.
Daniel Sarmiento – 4
Was brought in midway through the first half to shake things up and although he tried his best and showed us some nice moves, it was not enough to pierce the Danish defence. One failed shot on goal and an assist his contribution for the night.
Raul Entrerrios – 4
A constant presence, never giving up and always willing to find a way though. If his job was to simply keep the ball moving, it would be fine, but we know him as so much more than that and unfortunately there was not much more than that today as the Danes were not falling for his tricks.
Angel Fernandez Perez – 3
Came on at half time on the left wing and to be honest, I barely noticed he was there. Not entirely his own fault as the ball simply didn’t reach him with Dani Dujshebaev on a one-man mission on the left side of attack.
Joan Canellas – 3
Started at left back and looked very uncomfortable from the outset. Couldn’t get into any rhythm and one took one shot which he missed. That coupled with a pair of turnovers cut his night short.
Rodrigo Corrales – 2
From hero to zero saves, what a difference a game makes. Came on during the first half, which is never an easy situation, particularly in a game like this, when he was expected to make an immediate impact. Given a chance at the start of the second half as well but ended up with no saves from 11 shots on goal.
Coach Nikolaj Jacobsen – 8
Engaged in early mind games by playing 7vs6 right from the throw-off and forcing Spain to think twice about their 5-1 defence. Appeared to chose the correct back court combo with Olsen and Hansen working well in tandem and implemented an attacking style to run Spain out of sync.
Mikkel Hansen – 10
In complete contrast to the quarter-final, Mikkel looked well and truly in control in the first half, doing practically whatever he liked in front of the Spanish goal. Reeled off goals like nobodies business, 12 in total, and it feels like he provided more than the five assists he was credited with. Vintage Hansen and what a time to produce it.
Mathias Gidsel – 9
Hits the opposition defensive line with so much speed and at tricky angles, making him a penalty magnet. I wondered if he would try to overegg the pudding in these big games but that has not been the case at all. He has been a great team player, brave and efficient – proven by his four goals from as many shots, four assists and two steals.
Magnus Saugstrup – 9
Set the tone with the first goal of the game as Denmark played 7vs6 and never stopped. The Aalborg line play has shot from fringe player to key player in a heartbeat and has dealt with it brilliantly. Part of the core of Denmark’s defence, always an option on the line and ran the fast break brilliantly, all of which contributed to his seven-goal haul.
Morten Olsen – 7
The right man to start in the centre of Denmark’s attack today. Combined really well with Hansen and Gidsel as they pulled Spain apart. Provided some nice individual moments as well with four goals, only his five turnovers drag his rating down.
Simon Hald – 7
The often lesser-appreciated defender and line player, but not today. Hald was physically and figuratively massive in the centre of defence today, though he was caught out a few too many times with balls to the line. As well as recording a few blocks, a phase which stood out to me late on was when Alex Dujshebaev tried over and over again to wriggle his way towards goal but Hald was having none of it, reacting well, being firm but fair in wrapping him up.
Lasse Svan – 7
Wasn’t a perfect day in front of goal but his three goals came at important times, including the final one to kill the game off. Denmark’s only right wing in the 16-man squad and he’s all they need at the moment, such an incredibly reliable player.
Niklas Landin – 6
No goalkeeper had a particularly good day today but for Landin it was a case of quality and importance over quantity with his six saves.
Magnus Landin – 6
Fairly quiet first half out on the left wing in attack, though he did score both of his chances. His role in defence stood out to me more, playing number 2 on the left side, allowing Hansen to go on the wing and he did well to trouble the in-form Alex Dujshebaev.
Lasse Andersson – 6
Has become a key player in this squad, not just for his role in defence but as the primary vehicle in Denmark’s transition into attack. Moved the ball well and provided a number of assists to Saugstrup as well as popping up with a goal of his own.
Emil Jakobsen – 5
First touch of the ball after coming on after the break was a goal but that was about as exciting as it got for him. His only other shot forced a good save from Perez de Vargas and then it was mostly running up and down as Mikkel Hansen ran the show beside him.
Kevin Møller – 5
Was given a quarter of an hour in the first half and didn’t do too poorly, three saves from 12, but not enough to keep Landin from returning in the second half.
Henrik Møllgaard – 4
The man most caught out by Spain’s attackers today. The cornerstone of the defence struggled at times to deal with the line players and to find the right line, which was punished with three suspensions and with it the red card.
Anders Zachariassen, Jacob Holm, Nikolaj Øris, Mads Mensah