Granollers (VG) (France-Denmark 23-22) The Danish goalkeepers made great saves all over the body. But in the end, Denmark fell to favorite France in the World Cup semi-finals.
The desperation was immense among the Danes when the French Olympic winner turned the match in the final minutes.
– It’s very frustrating and disappointing. Feeling really annoying and empty to stand by, bouncer Althea Reinhardt tells VG.
– Oh. number. World Cup debutant Alicia Toplan says in France when VG showed her a photo of the ball unfolding in the face of Denmark goalkeeper Althea Reinhardt just three minutes into the match.
– I saw her crying and she said sorry, she adds.
Reinhardt reacts to the fact that the right wing in France has not received any punishment from Spanish judges.
– It’s frustrating, of course. It was a completely open chance and a completely free shot. The Odense GK replied, but I’m sure she didn’t do it on purpose.
The Danes have not been in a World Cup final since Anja Andersen swept Norway, and Denmark only won World Cup gold with a 33-20 in the 1997 Berlin final. And now they end up in the World Cup bronze final. It also happened in 2013 when Denmark won its last medal in women’s handball.
We make a lot of mistakes, and then we lose on the sidelines, says Reinhardt.
The goalkeeper highlighted the French routine as crucial, as France turned the game around.
France could win the World Cup gold for the third time, if they win the final on Sunday.
We are used to having these regular matches. We had to keep our cool, and we did. We never gave up, French Laura Glauser tells VG about the semi-finals.
Who do you hope will be the opponent in the final, Norway or Spain?
– We can’t hope for anything, because they are both very good. The goalkeeper says: We will do our best to win the World Cup.
France won the Olympic gold this summer, and star Alison Pinault is looking forward to another final.
– It really feels great. She told VG it was unbelievable that we made it to the final again, just a few months later this summer.
Who do you think you will meet in the final?
– I’m so excited. Spain is fighting for the last place at home. I think it will be Norway, but you never know.
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The match started with two saves by Althea Reinhardt. Then French right winger Alicia Toplan hit the Danish goalkeeper directly in the face from close range three minutes later.
Reinhardt went straight to Earth and had to be helped.
– She’s going well now, Reinhardt told VG after the match, she said she got slapped in the face and neck, but it wasn’t a problem to get back on the field.
Sandra Toft came within a few minutes, but soon the Odense goalkeeper was back on the field. With her seven saves, she was a major player in the first round for Denmark who eagerly seized the lead.
1 of 7Photo: Bjørn Steinar Delebekk / VG
Well done, said TV3 expert Ole Erivik.
Jesper Jensen’s girls twice took a four-goal lead after a defensive play led by Line Haugstvedt. The defense chief added three perfect goals before the French defense established itself.
– She plays with crazy authority. TV3 studio puppy Hammersing Eden thought of the break, she’s well positioned to become the best defensive player at the World Cup.
Denmark led 10-12, but had a more definite advantage over the French national team. Olympic-winning goalkeeper Laura Glauser put in a superb performance into the second half with a double save. In the last second of the round, penalty kick specialist Simone Petersen missed her first penalty kick in the World Cup.
Glauser stood inside the line and coped very well.
The second half began with veteran Alisson Pinault scoring the third penalty. Thus, France was behind with only one goal. But Anne-Mate Hansen immediately responded with two Danish goals. Thus, the initiative was still dressed in red and white.
The Danish girls kept calm and Althea Reinhart continued the rescue operations. But France was as tough as a week-old baguette. And Grace Al-Zadi returned the tie 20-20 ten minutes before the end. Pineau could give them the lead on penalties right after that. But then Sandra Toft came in with a great save.
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Mai Hoglund scored her third goal in a short time and Toft followed her save twice. France continued to advance and the right winger Toplan scored the goal and gave France the lead for the first time in the second half.
Raw strong streaker Paulette Foba gave a new French lead two minutes before the end. She won the match. France missed a test attempt with 17 seconds left, but Denmark failed to get anything from the final seconds more than a free throw.
France has almost supplied itself with a medal barrel in recent years. They beat Norway in the World Cup Final in 2017 and followed up for gold at the European Championships on home soil the following year. Last year, Norway lost 22-20 in the final of the European Championship, but at the Olympics it took the podium again.
Now there could be a new equal fight between France and Norway in the final. But then the handball girls have to make up for the semi-final loss to Spain at the World Cup two years ago. An entire arena is to be expected at the Palau d’Esports Granollers.
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