France gets revenge on Sweden and finds Denmark in the final

Complete card for tricolor handball players. Stronger in defense and more creative in attack, the Olympic champions clearly prevailed over Sweden (31-26) in the semifinals of the World Cup in Poland and Sweden on January 27.

Big teams are usually able to raise their level of play in big games. By producing their best match since the start of the World Cup in this much-anticipated encounter, the French did more than simply win a match: they set the record straight.

They were looking to avenge two painful defeats at the same stage of the competition against the same opposition at the 2021 World Cup and Euro 2022. Their victory is all the sweeter because it took place at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, a veritable handball temple in a country where the sport has almost become a religion.

Also read: France-Sweden: relive the blues’ qualification to the World Handball Championship final

On Sunday, they will find another Scandinavian team, Denmark (26-23), who escaped Spain without a shake. Two days after the Homeric battle against Norway in the 1/4 finals (35-34 after two overtimes), the Spaniards had no more gas in their tank. Leading by five goals at half-time, La Roja came back well to 47e minutes (20-21), but the Danish goalkeeper Niklas Landin was decisive in the last minutes.

Telepathic communication

Coach Guillaume Gille’s men played a solid game to go head-to-head against Sweden on Friday. Key to the game was the tenacity of the French defense and the almost telepathic connection between keeper Nedim Remilly and his three pivots: Luka Karabatic, Nicolas Tournat and Ludovic Fabregas.

The physically and tactically superior Scandinavians never found a solution to this equation of four unknowns. Missing regular playmaker Jim Gottfridsson with a finger injury, the Swedes didn’t have the weapons to compete with a struggling team. At the heart of the game, Nedim Remili multiplied his high-class gestures at a pace that made Scandinavian defenders dizzy.

Read the picture: Handball World Cup 2023: Blues artist Nedim Remili

Their goalkeeper Andreas Palicka, who beat the three-color attackers in the semi-finals of Euro-2022, could not stop the blue mechanics this time, despite his honorable performance (nine saves in 31 shots).

“It was a great match, the best of the competition, declared a visibly relieved Ludovic Fabregas after this easy qualification. We followed our game plan. We were well prepared for the match and tactically in a good position, we were very calm. The Swedish strikers offer plenty of locks, but ultimately their game is focused on two or three players. We showed the aggressiveness needed to win duels. »

New crosswords, Sudoku and found words every day.


After his poor performance in the quarter-finals against Germany, Vincent Gérard made a more honorable copy with thirteen shots (34%) in 38 Swedish shots. Elohim Prandi was solid on the left flank, as was Romain Lagarde in the absence of Nikola Karabatic, who still has problems with his left leg, and Thibaut Briet, who is suffering from a right hand problem. Dika Mem, who has been inconsistent since the start of the tournament, found his sight at the right time.

Also read: Handball World Cup 2023: rematch, France aims for championship

At the end of the match, Barcelona’s back was all smiles: “We had to take revenge, he explained. We were very hungry tonight. We knew it was something special to win here and it’s over. We never doubted it. There are times when you are short on time, but the team never doubts. That’s what makes the band stronger. »

Deep Competition

The Blues will play their first World Cup final since their 2017 home triumph on Sunday. The Danes will aim for an unprecedented treble. This duel between two of the best teams of the last decade promises to be epic. The rivalry between the two countries is deep: the French defeated the Scandinavians in the final of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 (25-23), and at Euro 2022 they lost the third-place match against the same Danes after extra time.

Also read: The article is reserved for our subscribers World Handball 2023, France-Germany: Vincent Gerard, the goalkeeper has finally calmed down

“We have a bigger test against Denmark on Sunday. Luka Karabatic insisted after the match. They beat us last time. Nothing against them every time. This is becoming a classic of world handball. »

For coach Guillaume Gille, who looked more animated than his players after the match, Sunday’s match will effectively pit two of the best teams in the World Cup: “Denmark has incredible attacking talent. he declared. Except for the game against Croatia [au tour principal, le Danemark et la Croatie ont fait match nul 32-32], they have clearly dominated all their opponents since the start of the tournament. It will take a terrible match to take them down. It will be great to live together. »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *