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Date: 7/29/2015

Spain vs Denmark 21:22 (12:10)

After five minutes of play Spain held a narrow lead (2:1), thanks in large part to the strong opening minutes of goalkeeper Ignacio Biosca Garcia. 

Denmark did not let their opponent get away, but Spain’s fast-moving attack still created a narrow lead by midway through the half (7:5). 

Biosca saved a penalty in the 26th minute to keep Spain ahead by three (11:8), before Jacob Holm scored a goal to decrease the score line to two (11:9). Spain retained the two-goal advantage into the break, while Denmark were left to come up with new ideas. 

Denmark came back with stronger defence backed up by goalkeeper Kristian Pedersen and fast restarts after every goal against them, but Spain maintained the lead through to the 40th minute (16:14). 

A perfect fast break goal from Denmark, finished by left wing Pelle Schilling Guldager, took the score line to just one, before the Scandinavian side equalised with a penalty goal just before the 45th minute (17:17). 

With ten minutes remaining the score remained level (20:20). Both team’s defensive systems – Spain’s 5-1 and Denmark’s 6-0 – were proving very effective. In the 27th minute only one more goal had been scored by each side (21:21). 

Left back Sebastien Henneberg scored an outside shot with just over two minutes left (21:22), and when Spain missed their next attempt things were looking good for Denmark. Pedersen saved left wing Francisco Arino Garcia’s shot inside the last 30 seconds, and Denmark had possession as the final whistle blew. 

Belarus vs Germany 37:43 (17:19)

At first it was Belarus who led the scoring race, with a fast break goal from Andrei Yurynok putting them two goals in front just inside the 10th minute. That gap was brief, but Belarus had the upper hand through the opening 10 minutes despite the fact that their star player, and hero from their Eighth-Final, Hleb Harbuz, started on the bench. 

A two-minute suspension to Matsvei Malyshenka in the 11th minute proved costly for Belarus – Germany took the lead with a breakthrough goal by Simon Ernst in the 13th (7:8), then increased that lead in the 16th minute (9:11) 

Belarus coach Aleh Shareika called the first time-out when Germany hit a three-goal advantage in the 17th minute (9:12), but it did not change the score line immediately (11:14, 21st minute). 

Belarus goalkeeper Viachaslau Saldatsenka saved a fast break in the 24th minute to keep the score line at two (14:16), and Germany retained that two-goal lead into the break. 

Ten minutes into the second period Germany held a three-goal advantage (22:25), and after a Belarus time-out, they only increased that gap. A fast break from Timo Kastening took Germany six in front (22:28, 13th minute). 

When Germany were up by five with ten minutes remaining (29:34), things were looking ominous for Belarus. Germany held on to finish the match six goals in front, booking their spot in the semi-finals and sending Belarus to the 5-8 placement matches. 

Egypt vs Sweden 28:27 (15:15)

"Team togetherness" was how Mohab Hossam Mohamed described Egypt's Eighth-Final victory over Korea to set-up this quarter-final against Sweden and it was a mantra he again repeated as his side beat the much-fancied Swedes in Uberaba 28:27.

Sweden, guilty of numerous technical mistakes, had plenty of chances to seal their victory in the 60 minutes, but cracks appeared in their otherwise perfect record at Brazil 2015 when they were taken to additional time by Portugal last night in their Eighth-Final, eventually winning 33:30.

The tone today was set early on as Sweden missed with their very first attack but after settling, the game ebbed and flowed like the waves in an ocean.

With 10 minutes gone, the game sprung to life as first, the Swedish hitman Jerry Tollbring had his shot saved, the resulting play saw Egypt turnover the ball and then a team time out.

Egypt found themselves 12:10 up in the last 10 minutes of the first half but a swift treble from Sweden (Daniel Ekman, Henrik Olsson, Nilas Mork) saw them take the lead - and the Swedish bench celebrated wildly.

Egypt took a time out after having gone down a further two thanks to Mork and Ekman with Coach Wael Abdelaaty Sayed Aly using it to calm his nerves.

His quick motivation had the desired effect, but only after a simple turnover for too many steps and a 7m penalty save which further hurt Egypt.

Mork then struck from a near-impossible parallel angle, earning goalkeeper Mohamed Akram Abdelbaset a lesson from at least two coaches on the bench on where to place his hands.

But Egypt were not prepared to let the game slip away from them before 30 minutes had been completed and Abdelrahman Amr Badawy popped up with a double to make it 15:15 at the half.

Egypt started to outclass Sweden tactically in the second half, not least through man-marking Daniel Ekman out of the game - he managed just one goal in the second half - although Coach Aly needed to keep his troops focussed - a simple Swedish steal from Mohamed put them up 19:17 and a high miss by at least one metre on a fast-break made the viewer wonder if Egypt would ever get fully up and running.

Coach Aly then took another time out with 40:37 on the clock and with Swedish Coach Staffan Olsson shown a yellow card for persistent bench infringements, the tide began to turn in the African’s favour.

Again Egypt threw away a chance to go ahead though as Mohamed’s overthrown pass to his left-back went over his head and straight out of the court.

The score was 23:24 with a quick Mork double putting the Swedes up (top-scorer on nine goals) and as Yehia Mohamed Elderaa hit the post Egypt were losing grip of the game, but Sweden had stepped into the area and the ball was with Egypt again - their next shot hit the crossbar.

Big drama, but they bought it back level at 24:24 through Ahmed Hashem - and the scores stayed level until there was just 90 seconds remaining with the scores at 27:27.

A Sweden turnover saw Egypt in possession and Coach Aly called a time out with 43 seconds left - Mohamed scored with Lukas Nilsson from Sweden waiting in the wings as the extra goalkeeper for the fast-break and with 29 seconds left Sweden called their own time out.

A tactical move on the attack saw Jerry Tollbring come on in the last second of the phase of play and as he ran down the left wing to receive the ball and shoot, his shot was blocked but an infringement saw a Swedish free throw with the clock at 60:00.

Very rarely do teams score from these and despite Simon Jeppsson, the tallest player of Sweden’s squad at two metres taking it, the Egyptian wall held strong and they await the winners of the much-fancied France vs. Romania match.

“Today it was the team spirit that got us the win," said Mohamed after the game. "It was nothing tactical or technical, just our spirit.

"We will have a much-needed rest day and then look forward to the semi-final. We can win this tournament."

Romania vs France 20:30 (8:17)

France had a relatively uneventful quarter-final against a Romania side who could not break them down, losing 30:20 in Uberaba - the final Brazil 2015 match in the city before the tournament moves to Uberlandia.

Florian Delecroix was the star attacking player, with 10 goals, but after the match Johann Delattre, the French coach when asked what the secret to the easy of victory was, said “there is no secret: defence,” and the statement summed up the match.

With the scores at 2:2, a 5:0 run for France put them 7:2 up with 11:16 on the clock and that was essentially the end of the game as the Romanians never bothered the French again.

It was then just a simple case of France remaining focused and doing the job in-hand which they did with aplomb, racking up a nine-goal half-time lead (17:8), thanks to seven first-half strikes from Delecroix and another 5:0 run.

The second half was as uneventful as the first in terms of drama, but France showed a focus and business-like work ethic that will see them well in their Brazil 2015 semi-final.

The one blot on the French victory was a third two-minute suspension for Sebastien Joumel who left the court to sit in the stands with just under 10 minutes remaining, but this did not have an effect on the outcome as France went 10 goals in front straight afterwards through Youenn Cardinal.

France will play, maybe unexpectedly, Egypt, in their semi-final on Friday (31 July) at 18:00 in Uberlandia.

Uberaba photos: www.brazilhandball2015.com