The 2012 finalists go for gold againArticle
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REVIEW: Germany and Sweden, finalists at the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2012 when the same generation of players took to the court, face each other again – this time in the final of the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2014

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The 2012 finalists go for gold again

It is as if 2012 happened all over again. At the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2014 the semi-finals saw the exact same pairings, Sweden vs Denmark and Germany vs Spain, as two years ago at the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2012 when the same generation of players took to the court.

And Friday's results confirmed this mirror image. Like in 2012 Sweden beat Denmark and Germany outplayed Spain to reach the championship's final on Sunday.

The Scandinavian duel between Denmark and Sweden became the expected tight affair.

The game was waving back and forth with in the first half. Sweden were in front 5:2 after nine minutes, before four unanswered Danish goals gave Denmark a 6:5 lead.

Sweden, however, stroke back straight away scoring four consecutive goals themselves to take a 9:6 lead. Three goals was also the gap at half-time when Sweden led 15:12.

In the second half Denmark got their hopes up one more time, when a Nicolai Pedersen goal levelled the game at 18:18 in the 42nd minute, but two unanswered goals by Henrik Olsson saw Sweden in front 20:18 shortly afterwards.

Denmark then fought hard to turn the game in their favour once more, but Sweden held on to the lead and eventually made it to the final.

Only judging by the result Germany had an easier passage to the gold medal match.

At half-time the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2012 champions, who had beaten Spain two years ago as well as last year in the bronze medal match of the Men's Youth World Championship 2013, led 19:13.

Guided by the almost unstoppable Yves Kunkel, who scored nine goals overall, and Germany's Player of the Match Jannik Kohlbacher, the team increased the lead to 26:16 in the 40th minute and even to 30:18 in the 46th minute.

By then the Spanish resistance was practically broken and Germany eased to a 35:29 victory.

Sweden and Germany play the final on 3 August at 18:00 hrs local time. Denmark and Spain vie for bronze at 15:30 hrs.

Both matches are streamed live.

TEXT: EHF / ts