France and Denmark will reissue next Sunday in Stockholm the final of the tokyo olympicsafter the French team defeated hosts Sweden (31-26) in the second semifinal of the World Cup in Poland and Sweden.
The two great dominators of world handball in recent years will meet again barely a year and a half after ‘Les Experts’ won their third Olympic medal against the block led by Hansen and Niklas Landin, current world champion.
France destroyed Sweden with their defense. Without the injured Jim Gottfridsson, the host struggled in positional attack to overcome a tough 6-0 run by the French. And when he got it he met an inspired Vicent Gerard -seven stops at half-time.
After an even start, with few goals, Guillaume Gille’s selection hit a stretch in electronics (6-3 min.11)exploiting his defensive work, Mahe’s effectiveness from seven meters and the game with six meters, where the azulgrana Ludovic Fabregas hurt the yellow defense.
Sweden raised their defensive level, and two practically consecutive exclusions of the French – Tournat and Remili – allowed them to get closer (9-8). But with numerical equality on track, rushed in with several fast pitches trying to stop France from setting up their defence, and paid for it with a 4-1 run.
The Swedish coach, Glenn Solberg, stopped the clash. His team was accusing the loss of Gottfridsson, their leader in attack – the Flensburg center-back broke the fingers of his hand against Egypt. And Palicka was not contributing in goal either (16-12, rest).
Sweden missed the ticket for its “final”and that forced him to risk a much more intense defense. France, with a spectacular Remili, endured that physical demand until after the middle of the second actwhen his rival got to two (24-22, min.47) despite the little contribution of his goal -Tobias Thulin had replaced Palicka-.
The yellows had done the most difficult thing, scaring the Olympic champion. But an exclusion of Fredic Pettersson oxygenated France, which recovered the four goal lead after two saves by Gerard Vincent and another two goals from his pivots (27-23), decisive in the six meters.
Palicka returned to the court, but the French team, under the direction of Kentin Mahe, sealed the semifinal with the effectiveness of their pivots (30-24, min.56).
31 – France: Gerard, Lenne (3), Dika Mem (5), Fábregas (6), Remili (4), Prandi (2) and Nahi (1) -starting team- Remi Desbonnet (ps), Lagarde (1), Luka Karabatic, Tournat (4), Mahe (5.4p) and Porte.
26 – Sweden: Palicka, Pellas, Carlsbogard (4), Claar (3), Darj (1), Lagergren (2) and Daniel Pettersson (4) -starting team- Bergendahl (2), Thulin (ps), Wanne (2), Persson, Sandell (1), Ekberg (2p) and Johansson (5).
Scoreboard every five minutes: 2-2, 4-3, 7-5, 10-8, 13-9, 16-12 (rest); 18-14, 20-17, 24-20, 25-23, 29-24 and 31-26.
Referees: Horacek Vaclav and Novotny Jiri (Czech Republic). They showed a direct red card to Carlsbogard (min.53). In addition, they excluded Luka Karabatic, Remili and Tournat from France, and Petterson, Sandell (2) and Claar from Sweden.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the second semifinal of the World Championship of Poland and Sweden held at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Full.