Three European teams reach Under 19 World Championship semi-finals
Defending champions France were knocked out by Portugal in a thrilling quarter-final at the 2019 IHF Men’s Youth (U19) World Championship in Skopje this week, putting the Portuguese through to their first-ever semi-final in this competition.
Portugal will face Egypt in tomorrow’s semi-final, continuing a stunning tournament for a side which only made it into the competition as a replacement team. Portugal finished seventh at their debut Youth World Championship in 2017.
After finishing undefeated and top of Group D in the group stage of this year’s competition, Portugal went on to book their place in the quarter-finals with a 29:25 win against hosts North Macedonia.
Facing France in the quarter-final, Portugal moved into the lead after 10 minutes and held off repeated attacks to win 31:26. Martim Costa was named player of the match after scoring 11 times for Portugal.
Egypt beat Iceland 35:31 in a strong performance to book their semi-final place against Portugal.
On the other side of the draw, three-time champions Denmark were forced to come back from a 9:10 deficit at the break to beat Spain in their quarter-final.
The Spaniards showed better defensive skills in the first half of the match, but a stronger performance by Denmark – particularly from player of the match, goalkeeper Svend Bro Rughave – saw the Danes take the win. Rughave made 10 saves during the match, including seven in the second half.
The German shot efficiency was an impressive 65% and Julian Koster was named player of the match after netting six times from six attempts.
More information, including the live stream, latest news, statistics and live scores, is available on the official IHF competition microsite.
Photographs © WCH 2019 / Filip Viranovski