Defending champions Denmark secured a narrow 39-38 win over hosts Egypt on Wednesday in a quarterfinal that needed two overtimes and a penalty shootout in the 2021 International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s World Championship.
Although the Danes managed to end the first halftime 16-13 ahead, the Pharaohs closed the gap and ended the second half 28-28 to take the match to extra-time.
Egypt were close to making a remarkable win after two overtimes, having led 35-34 with only a few seconds to go, but Ibrahim El-Masry made a needless foul and received a red card, awarding Denmark a critical penalty before the final whistle, which Magnus Landin scored to rescue Denmark and force a penalty shootout.
In the shootout, shots by Ahmed El-Ahmar and Ali Zein were saved by Denmark goalkeeper Niklas Landin. Although Nikolaj Oris also missed, Lasse Svan’s successful effort marked the end of the thrilling encounter, with the Danes remaining the favorites to win the 27th World Championship.
Despite the fact that the Pharaohs were the losing side, they leave the competition with their heads high and with praise from Egyptian fans, the head of the Egyptian handball federation and even the president of Egypt.
“The performance of the Egyptian handball team sends a message to the handball world that Egypt is there among the world’s greatest eight,” Hesham Nasr, president of the Egyptian Handball Federation (EHF), told Xinhua after the match.
Running from January 13 to 31, the 27th Men’s Handball World Championship includes teams from 32 countries and regions.