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Denmark, France face off for EHF EURO 2016 bronze

PREVIEW: The losing sides of Friday's semi-finals, Denmark and France, had one day to recover to take to the court one last time in the match for bronze on Sunday at the EHF EURO 2016

Photo: Stephane Pillaud

Although disappointment in the French and the Danish camp was undeniable following their semi-final losses to Norway and the Netherlands on Friday, confidence has now overruled depression and both sides are ready to take on the fight for bronze on Sunday.

France and Denmark reach for their first EHF EURO medal after many years. Denmark last won silver in 2004, France bronze in 2006.

This fact should provide enough motivation to recover the players' minds and get ready for one last fight in Sweden.

"In every game we learn something from our mistakes and we will do that again and try to be ready for Sunday," said France head coach Olivier Krumbholz after their 20:16 loss against Norway on Friday.

“We were disappointed, but now we are looking forward to playing tomorrow. We are playing as best we can and we are really going for a medal tomorrow,” said Denmark's captain Stine Jorgensen on Saturday.

“I think the key again will be our defence. We have to play a very good game in the defence, and everyone has to play their best, and then we have a good chance.”

Although Denmark, whose lost the semi-final 26:22 against the Netherlands, have three gold and two silver medals from EHF EURO events under their belt, they have never won a bronze.

The only time they played the third place game, they lost to Romania on home court in Herning six years ago at the EHF EURO 2016.

For France tomorrow's match is a chance to leave the tournament on a high note and with bronze hanging around their necks – a feeling the women's national team already experienced at the EHF EURO events in 2002 and 2006.

Only a few minutes after their bitter loss to Norway, French back court ace Allison Pineau already vowed that the entire team would play their hearts out against Denmark.

"It will be even chances for both teams as we both lost and are disappointed, but both will be trying to leave with a medal. Whoever will be able to give everything they have, will win this bronze medal," she said.

The rivals have not met for four years but the history of their direct encounters is quite rich.

In 16 games Denmark clearly prevailed, winning 11 matches and losing just four.

On EHF EURO courts, France only won one game against Denmark. However, this game happened in 2006 at the EHF EURO which was also – omen or not – played in Sweden.

written by Vlado Brindzak / ts