Minne shoots France to gold at Men's 18 EHF EURO 2014Article
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REVIEW: France beat Hungary 33:30 in the final of the European Championship in Poland, while Spain take third place with a 27:21 win against Denmark in the bronze medal match

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Minne shoots France to gold at Men's 18 EHF EURO 2014

The French men's handball generation born in 1996 has taken its first major international title, beating Hungary 33:30 in the final of the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2014 in Poland on Sunday.

Spain won bronze with a confident 27:21 victory against Denmark.

France and Hungary had already met in the tournament's group phase Friday a week ago when Hungary gained a 34:26 victory, but this time France showed that they had learnt their lesson.

"My players are truly fantastic, we had some bad moments but each time we bounced back even better. The spirit here is wonderful, the spirit of handball I mean," said France' coach Eric Quintin.

"I'm also very happy for handball. It was a great game of two the best teams in this tournament. If you win against such an opponent, it is really great thing."

Both teams were particularly strong in attack in the first half with the lead changing constantly and the score standing at 18:16 in favour of Hungary after 30 minutes of play.

Coming back onto the court for the second half, two quick goals by France levelled the game, and with 10 minutes left on the clock they enjoyed a 29:27 lead.

A late two-minute suspension for Hungary's Patrik Ligetvari seemed to give France the decisive advantage in the 55th minute, before Ludovic Fabregas was also sent off court.

However, unnerved by the two suspensions, Aymeric Minne scored for France to give his team a 31:28 lead which France kept until the end when they started celebrating gold.

Minne was also France's best scorer in the game with eight goals, while Hungary might look back especially dissatisfied at their penalty performance as they converted none from three from the seven metre line.

Spain enter the podium on third

In the match for third place Spain literally stormed to bronze, leaving Denmark no chance to enter the podium themselves.

Aleix Gomez opened Spain's account with the first goal of the match, and over the course of the first half the team dominated the game and their opponents almost at will.

"I'm very happy we won. It wasn’t an easy game, but we won, because we were a team and we played like it was the first match at the tournament," said Spain's David Alonso. "It was an emotional game, but we managed to win and we finished third."

Danish head coach Morten Henriksen tried twice to change the match's direction but neither the first timeout after 18 minutes nor the second one just a mere two minutes later did much positive, as the teams went into the dressing rooms with the score at 17:7 for Spain.

In the second half Denmark started one last attempt to stop the Spanish dominance, but even though they temporarily reduced the gap to five goals, Spain never let slip that bronze medal from their hands and eventually celebrated a 27:21 victory.

Best scorer and player of the match for Spain was David Fernandez with seven goals, Magnus Saugstrup scored nine times for Denmark and also received the player of the match honours.

Placement matches decided earlier

Already on Saturday Sweden (28:25 against Switzerland) had placed fifth and Germany (26:23 against Poland) had come seventh overall.

Iceland (33:28 against Croatia) finished the tournament in ninth position, Belarus (36:31 against Russia) came 11th, Serbia (30:23 against Czech Republic) finished 13th and FYR Macedonia beat Romania 35:32 to place 15th.

TEXT: EHF / ts