France beat Sweden to join Denmark in the World Cup final

They come back after six years. The Blues will host their first World Handball final since 2017 after beating Sweden (31-26) in front of their home crowd, the reigning European champions, in Stockholm this Friday.

To win their seventh world crown six years after their last, they will have to beat fellow Scandinavians, the Danes, who they defeated at home in the 2021 Olympics final (25-23) and are aiming for an unprecedented treble.

France, who won back-to-back titles twice during the specialist era (2009, 2011 and 2015, 2017), never understood this.

Many of its members can hope to follow in the footsteps of this 2023 vintage (by which time current veterans Luc Abalo and Mickaël Guigou have retired) who were covered in Olympic gold in Tokyo a year and a half ago. glorious elders.

Euro: France finishes at the foot of the podium after defeating Montenegro for the bronze medal

This will require another spectacular performance this Sunday at this Tele 2 Arena, which will be packed with around 20,000 supporters dressed in yellow and blue this Friday.

Kent’s Mahe was noisy, if not too noisy, when he came forward to take penalties (4 out of 4 goals attempted), but the Blues gradually faded.

Leading by four lengths (16-12) at halftime, they kept up the pace except for a small slump that allowed the Swedes to pull back to within two lengths (24-22, 48th) midway through the second period. But 5 minutes later, after a 3:0 victory, the match was left behind (30:24).

Staff Depth

Regardless of the difficulties, the injuries, the trip from Gdansk to Stockholm to play the game while Sweden is hot, the status of European champions and two defeats against them in the same last four games of the last three competitions (World 2021 and Euro 2022).

Guillaume Gille’s men produced a solid match, leading from start to finish except for the first few minutes. And this despite the absence of the first two choices on the left flank, Nikola Karabatic and Thibaut Briet. Second, he injured his right hand, as in the quarter-finals against Germany.

First, he appeared on the match sheet after playing only the first twenty minutes, with a very sore leg, against the Mannschaft to make a comeback after missing the previous two matches.

But he didn’t play even for a minute. Be that as it may, the Blues veteran (age 38, 10th and final World Cup) and Briet have been perfectly replaced by Elohim Prandi and even Romain Lagarde, but with reduced playing time in selection recently.

A new image of the incredible reservoir of French handball and these Blues affected by the seven-pack before the competition.

Nice reaction from Vincent Gerard

The Swedes were without playmaker Jim Gottfridsson, who injured his left hand, and in his absence could not find the key to crack the tricolor safe.

Their goalkeeper Andreas Palicka (9 saves on 31 shots), who made the French sick in the semi-finals of Euro 2022, could not stop the French waves.

Unlike Vincent Gérard, he recovered brilliantly as he relinquished his hero’s suit to substitute Remy Desbonnet after scoring nil in the semi-final (12/38).

In the game, the French back base consisting of Nedim Remili (4 goals and 8 assists in 6 shots), Dika Mem (4/5) and Prandi (2/5) was unstable. Like this kung-fu between the first two (32nd; 17-13).

Sweden had closed the game with pivots, one of France’s strong points, but it gradually loosened the grip and the Olympic champions produced a complete, almost perfect match.

They will need to repeat that on Sunday to win their seventh world crown.


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