Hansen reaches 500 goals and Danes reach main round

MATCH REVIEW: Mikkel Hansen achieves career milestone as Denmark defeat Austria 33:29

After three minutes and 16 seconds of Sunday's late match in Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning, Mikkel Hansen scored his goal number 500 for Denmark.

That goal brought the Danes ahead 2:1, and since then the hosts were constantly in the lead, much to the pleasure for the once again full hall, apart from the 300 Austrian fans of course .

Via 18:12 at half time the Danes clinched their main round berth and secured the first place in Group A by winning 33:29 at the end.

Mikkel Hansen celebrated his goal anniversary by going scoring goal after goal, one more spectacular than the other, until he ended by being most scoring player in the match with nine goals.

However, his many goals were not the only reason why the 26-year-old left back was awarded his team's best player.

His many assists to his teammates also contributed a lot to the Danish win which was actually clearer than the final digits indicate.

"This was Mikkel at his best. And this is what we need in order to go far in the tournament," said Hansen's teammate Jesper Noddesbo.

After Austria had been ahead 1:0, the Danes took over the steering wheel in the game, and after once have taken the lead they never gave it away.

In stead they increased it throughout the first 20 minutes, at which point they were already leading by six goals which was also the distance at half time.

Austria with secret weapon

Although the Danes kept control over the game, also from the start of the second half, they were not able to shake off their opponents completely.

Denmark got ahead with seven goals several times within the last 30 minutes, but somehow Austria managed to keep the distance within rather acceptable limits, without being able to threaten the Danish win, though.

One of the reasons for Austria's ability to avoid falling completely out of the game was an apparently secret weapon.

The Danes did not seem to be particularly well prepared for Maximillian Hermann who played in the Austrian right back position for major parts of the match.

Hermann scored five goals, four of them after the break, and that way did he not only contribute to limiting his team´s defeat, it also earned him the honour as Austria's best player.

"We knew it was going to be a tough match. Denmark is a great team, and I think they can go all the way. Despite that, I think we did a good job tonight.

We showed a fantastic team spirit, and we played some good handball. But it is never a shame to loose against Denmark, and I am really proud of the team," said Austria's coach Patrekur Johannesson.

Green made his mark

A further player with personal success in the match was Jannick Green.

The 24-year-old goalkeeper from Bjerringbro-Silkeborg made his appearance from the start of the second half, when he succeeded an otherwise successful  Niklas Landin.

With several fine saves, Green emphasised that Denmark have a strong goalkeeper duo.

The win makes Denmark sure to win Group A and to take at least two points with them into the main round.

If it will be more depends on the last match day Thursday.

written by Peter Bruun / br