The main favorite Denmark continues to march confidently at the European Handball Championship in Germany. And Sweden also showed at the start of the second group of the main round in Hamburg that the defending champions are again a force to be reckoned with.

After a clean 39:27 (18:17) win for three-time world champions Denmark, the Swedes followed suit on Wednesday night. They beat Slovenia 28:22 (11:7).

However, in the first game of the day, the Norwegians disappointed again. The rated Scandinavians lost to Portugal with a score of 32:37 (15:18). In the preliminary round, the team led by former Kiel star Sander Sagosen was defeated by Slovenia and only drew with the Faroe Islands. Semi-finals are practically impossible for the Norwegians.

In the preliminary round, the Danes have already beaten Portugal, and the Swedes have beaten the Netherlands. As a result, both teams top the group with four points each and have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals by finishing first or second in the table. The Danes have been waiting for the European title since 2012.

Gidsel scored nine goals

Despite a clear result against the Dutch, the Danes had to fight for at least 40 minutes before they achieved their fourth victory in their fourth European Championship match. It was only when the strength of the Orange players was exhausted that the quality of the Scandinavians prevailed. The Danes’ top scorer was Matthias Gidsel from Fuchse Berlin with nine goals.

The Swedes took the lead against the Slovenians in the first half and increased their lead after the break. The standout player was goalkeeper Andreas Palicka, who stopped 14 of 28 Slovenian shots.

Norway dominated the Portuguese for only the first 20 minutes. After this, they could no longer take control of the mobile southern Europeans. Pedro Portella (8) and Martim Costa (7) were particularly unstoppable. The Portuguese’s biggest international success to date was sixth place at the 2020 European Championships (dpa/ska).

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