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Beach Handball

Meet the finalists: How do Denmark stack up against Germany?

EHF / Eric Willemsen

Two women’s teams that impressed all week have made their way through to the big final: Denmark and Germany will go for gold at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 in Varna on Sunday.

Will Denmark retain the trophy they won two years ago? Or can Germany finally get back on the throne 15 years after winning the title in 2006?

Here is how Denmark and Germany compare to each other:

How did they get to the final?

Denmark had an unusual slip-up on the opening day of the tournament, losing 2:1 to an opponent – Ukraine – that didn’t even make the main round.

Otherwise, the team has looked solid and avoided another defeat. Their run to the final included two 2:0 wins over Scandinavian rivals Norway, in the main round and again in the semi-final.

Germany have gone through the group phases like a steamroller: winning each and every match 2:0 in the preliminary round as well as in the main round.

However, in the quarter- and semi-finals, they proved they can deliver in a shoot- out as well, against Hungary and Spain, respectively.

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What does history say?

Denmark appear in their fourth final, after winning one of the previous three – in 2019. In recent years, the nation has usually done well, reaching at least the semi-finals in five of the last six Beach Handball EUROs.

Germany have a similar track record, though their successes came in a distant past. This is also their fourth final after winning once, a triumph dating back to 2006. In fact, the previous time they played the final was in 2007.

Who scores most of their goals?

Denmark: Line Gyldenløve. She is the overall top scorer of the competition coming into the finals day, with 127 points.

Germany: Isabel Kattner. So far on 68 points, but she also proved her worth with two crucial saves in the shoot-out against Hungary.

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Who is another key player?

Denmark: Freja Fagerberg. Experienced goalkeeper, backbone of the team. Has to bear all responsibility between the posts since Mathilde Johansen has been dropped.

Germany: Lucie-Marie Kretzschmar. Yes, daughter of German handball legend Stefan, but rather her on-court skills than her surname deserve her this mention.

What do the EHF experts say?

Márcio Menino: “Germany. They have the best team overall. In terms of attack and defence as well as goalkeeper, they just don’t have a weak spot.”

Chris O’Reilly: “Denmark. The goalkeeper battle will be very even, but Denmark’s experience will bring them over the line.”

All photos © 2021 kolektiff images 

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