European teams on quarter-final course in Tokyo
All seven European teams in the men’s handball competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are ranked within the top four of their respective group after the second round of matches.
The four best teams from both groups will qualify for the quarter-finals.
Recovering from their opening day defeats, Germany in group A and Portugal in B won their matches on Monday against Argentina (33:25) and Bahrain (26:25), respectively.
However, Portugal only did so after Bahrain missed a penalty in the closing seconds in an identical scenario to the Asian side’s previous match. On Saturday, Bahrain also lost against Sweden by a single goal after having a last-second penalty saved.
In a thriller, Spain edged Norway 28:27 thanks to a Aleix Goméz penalty in the closing second. Spain and France in group A as well as Denmark and Sweden in B all have two wins from two matches.
Brazil vs France 29:34 (13:16)
- France went 2:0 up in the first three minutes and remained ahead of Brazil for the entire match
- the decisive period came between minutes 38 and 44, when Brazil failed to score and France went from 22:18 to 26:18
- Leonardo Dutra scored 10 times for Brazil, while France had 12 different players on the score sheet but none with more than four goals
Argentina vs Germany 25:33 (13:14)
- Argentina built an 8:5 lead but then didn’t find the net again for nine straight minutes, allowing Germany to go 10:8 up
- Argentina briefly led again (15:14) early in the second half before a 7:2 run gave Germany the decisive advantage
- Marcel Schiller and Timo Kastening both scored seven for Germany
Spain vs Norway 28:27 (13:14)
- Spain earned their second 28:27 win this week, after getting the same result in their first match against Germany
- Norway led by up to four goals in the first part of the match; Spain only went ahead for the first time after 38 minutes
- Norway rallied from 27:25 down but still lost when Adrian Figueras was fouled and Aleix Goméz scored the penalty in the final second
Egypt vs Denmark 27:32 (15:14)
- Egypt and Denmark met again six months after their dramatic quarter-final at the World Championship in Egypt
- Egypt were three goals up during the first half but were never in the lead again after Mikkel Hansen equalised for Denmark (15:15) early in the second
- Hansen with nine and Mathias Gidsel with eight goals were the outstanding scorers for the defending champions
Bahrain vs Portugal 25:26 (15:14)
- both teams had three-goal leads in the first half but Bahrain were ahead for most of the second
- Bahrain led 25:24 going into the 58th minute but failed to score again, most notably when Mohamed Ahmed missed a penalty with 21 seconds left
- goalkeeper Gustavo Capdeville had a save percentage of 43 as Olympic debutants Portugal earned their first victory
Japan vs Sweden 26:28 (14:17)
- Japan had a few single-goal leads midway through the first half before Sweden closed out the half with a 6:2 run
- Sweden remained in the lead for the entire second half, with six goals the biggest margin
- Hampus Wanne scored eight times for Sweden, Hiroki Motoki led for the hosts with six
Detailed results and playing schedules are available on the official Olympics homepage.
All Tokyo 2020 photos courtesy of IHF.