Herning (Denmark) (AFP)
Worn by Orlane Kanor and Grâce Zaadi, the French handball players beat the Danes (23-20) on Tuesday night in Herning (Denmark), a success that allows them to reach the main round of Euro-2020 with full of confidence and points.
The French, reigning European champions (2018), climb to the main round with four points on the clock, as many as Russia, and two more than Denmark.
In this second phase of the competition, Olivier Krumbholz's players will face Russia, Sweden (1 point) and Spain (1 point also), and the first two teams will qualify for the last four of the Euro.
For their first big test in this Euro, the Bleues stifled the Danes in the second half, after a tight first act (12-11 for the French at the break), where goalkeeper Sandra Toft at times defeated the French.
It was especially after returning from the locker room that the 2017 world champions widened the gap, inflicting a 6-2 in 12 minutes to give themselves some air (18-13, 42nd).
Orlane Kanor, left a reserve at the start of the competition by the coach because of back pain, made a superb comeback, with all the explosiveness that characterizes the left back of Metz.
"I feel very good physically. I was put in the fridge for a little while and there it is much better. When we are in the game, we do not think too much about the back," she explained afterwards. the encounter.
- "We're good together" -
With 5 goals from 6 attempts, she was the most visible Frenchwoman, notably delivering a magnificent assist to Pauletta Foppa in the last five minutes, while the players of Jepser Jensen had returned to three goals for France.
The aggressive defense of the French made it easier for the goalkeepers, Amandine Leynaud once again achieving a remarkable game, with 11 saves (35%).
The second goalkeeper Cléopatre Darleux also ensured the spectacle, in particular a double parade on a throw of seven meters granted to the Danes which raised all the French bench.
"The defense has been perfect all the time, it has been incredible. What is certain is that at the defensive level, it is perhaps one of the biggest matches for the France team since I train, "said coach Olivier Krumbholz, while right winger Pauline Coatanéa praised the meeting of the Blue goalkeepers.
Here are the teammates of Siraba Dembélé in an ideal position to achieve their first objective of this Euro: to reach the semi-finals while a year ago at the World-2019, while they were title holders, they had been eliminated from the first round after a defeat in the last match against ... Denmark.
"Everyone has a smile. Everyone is happy to play together. We're good together. It shows, and I think it's nice to see," said Orlane Kanor.
"We start with the maximum number of points for the main round, that's important."
© 2020 AFP