20/12/2020

Croatia fight for historic medal; Denmark target end to long wait

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH PREVIEW: The final day of EHF EURO 2020 matches will get started with a tough battle to take the last medal – a medal that means a great deal to both teams

A medal would be a superb outcome for both Croatia and Denmark. Photo © kolektiff

Croatia have the chance to win their first medal at any international championship on Sunday, but they must overthrow EHF EURO 2020 hosts Denmark to do so.

In what will be Denmark’s 98th EHF EURO match, the Scandinavian side will be fighting for their first medal at the event in 16 years, after a decade of dominance early in EURO history. In fact, since 2004, when Denmark won their third straight Olympic title and their latest EURO medal – silver – they have taken a piece of silverware only once: bronze at the World Championship 2013.

This medal certainly means a lot to both sides. 

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH

Croatia vs Denmark
Sunday 20 December, 15:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Denmark have won the EHF EURO three times and clinched the silver medal twice, but those results came between the first edition of the event in 1994 and 2004. Since then, Denmark have not won any medal but fought for bronze twice, in 2016 and 2010
  • Croatia have already secured their best result in history, beating the ranking of fifth in 1994
  • Croatia’s top scorer, left back Camila Micijevic, stands at fourth on the list of leading scorers at the EHF EURO 2020, with 32 goals. Denmark’s Mia Rej Bidstrup is right behind with 31
  • Danish goalkeeper Sandra Toft has made the second highest number of saves at the EURO, with 72, while the Netherlands’ Tess Wester recorded 76
  • it has been several years since the teams met in an official match, with the last encounter in the EURO qualification in 2012. Overall, Denmark have won five games, Croatia have taken four victories, and one game ended in a draw
  • Denmark passed 2,500 EHF EURO goals in their semi-final against Norway
  • it is Denmark captain Sandra Toft’s 35th EURO game. She will end the tournament just one behind her country’s all-time leader in EURO matches played – another goalkeeper, Karin Mortensen, on 36

Jesper Jensen, Denmark coach: “Sunday is a big day for us – we can bring a bronze medal home to Denmark. We will put every single part of energy into that match. Even though we are disappointed today, of course we will manage to have a lot of strength Sunday. We don’t have to invent anything to beat Croatia. If anybody had asked us three weeks ago that if we would have a bronze match against them, we would have said a big ‘yes please’ to that one, so we will find something I’m sure.” 

Nenad Sostaric, Croatia coach: “These girls did more than anybody expected before the tournament. We need to work on self-motivation and we know that we can play much better. We need to put this plan into action. If we score our open shots, then we will be better. Our team knows to play handball. They play with their heart and will try and do anything in our power to try and win the bronze medal.”

written by Courtney Gahan / jh