Before the EHF EURO 2018, most of the handball experts and fans predicted a final between Denmark and France. On the final day of the event, the two teams faced each other but not in the match they were supposed to meet: Denmark and France were playing for the bronze medal. The match started with a Danish goal but three French goals meant the lead for the world champions (3-1). Until the 20th minute, the two teams were going side by side, mostly with Denmark having the lead, but for the last 10 minutes of the half, France turned to a higher speed and grabbed the lead. Denmark was led by the goals of Hans Lindberg, while Nikola Karabatic was pulling France closer to the victory. Before the halftime break, France already had a 4-goal lead but a last second goal brought the Danes closer to their opponent (17-14).
In the second half, France was in control of the game: Nikola Karabatic came up with a great performance while on the other side, Mikkel Hansen was far from his usual self. The Frenchmen kept a comfortable 4 goal advantage throughout the most of the half. Arriving to the last quarter of the match, the Olympic champion Danes could have grabbed the last chance to turn the match around but France was focused and sharp when it was needed the most. In the final minutes of the second half, there were no questions about where the bronze medal will go: both teams were fighting hard to grab this medal at the EHF EURO 2018, but today, it was France that turned out to be the better team on the court. France won 32-29 in a match where they had control most of the time and their victory was well-deserved, even if before the EHF EURO, they had bigger dreams than the bronze medal. Denmark couldn’t stand up on the podium this time.
EHF EURO 2018 – Bronze medal Match
France – Denmark 32-29 (17-14)
France: N. Karabatic 9, K. Mahe 5(1), L. Abalo 5, C. Sorhaindo 5, V. Porte 4, N. Remili 2, A. Dipanda 1, M. Guigou 1
Denmark: H. Lindberg 12(1), C. Mortensen 4, R. Lauge 4, M. Hansen 2(1), H. Toft Hansen 2, A. Zachariassen 2, N. Kirkelokke 1, M. Mensah Larsen 1, M. Damgaard 1
Penalties: 1/3 ; 2/3
Suspensions: 6 minutes ; 10 minutes
Player of the Match: Nikola Karabatic (FRA)