Portugal wins again and is in the semi-finals of the U-20 European Championship

The Portuguese team defeated Denmark this Tuesday.

Portugal qualified for the semi-finals of the European under-20 men’s handball by beating Denmark, by 26-20, in a game of the main round played in Gaia.

In a match played under intense heat, which almost turned the Vila Nova de Gaia Municipal Sports Pavilion into a sauna, Denmark started better and led the score to 5-6, after which Francisco Costa converted two consecutive seven-meter free-kicks and the result turned to 7-6.

From then on, Portugal geared up both in defense, with goalkeeper Diogo Rema giving confidence, and in attack and began to distance itself from the Nordic team.

With the result at 11-7 in favor of Portugal, the Danish coach asked for a team out, Francisco Costa went to rest, João Gomes came in for his place and Martim Costa made it 12-7.

Denmark accumulated errors and missed several shots and Portugal took the opportunity to score goals and reach the break with a perhaps unexpected seven-goal advantage (17-10) over an opponent who represents one of the best schools in world handball and has several players with over two meters high.

The selection made a confident and consistent display during most of the first half and started with the right foot in the second half, with left winger Pedro Oliveira increasing to 18-10.

Vasco Costa, who joined the Portuguese team today, made his debut in this European Championship with a goal (19-11), but from then on, Denmark regained ground, taking advantage of the Portuguese slowdown, and managed to reduce the difference to four goals ( 20-16).

The exhibitional glow that Portugal showed in the first half had disappeared and that gave encouragement to Denmark, which only did not obtain better dividends at certain moments because Diogo Rema executed several saves and, in this way, held the Portuguese advantage and cooled the opposite impetus.

Martim Costa broke Portugal’s less good phase by signing the 21st goal with a supported shot (49 minutes) and Francisco Costa missed – a rare thing – a seven-metre free-kick, but Denmark didn’t stay and even managed to reduce.

There were less than 10 minutes to go when Portugal found the north and the opposite goal again, scoring two goals in a row against none of Denmark (23-17).

The Portuguese defense also rose in performance, Diogo Rema continued to be strong and the result jumped to 26-18 with three minutes left, with the Costa brothers (Francisco and Martim), and the newcomer António Machado ‘invoicing’ and put a definitive brake on the Danish recovery.

Francisco Costa scored the last Portuguese goal, the 10th on his personal account, in a shot of beautiful effect, after a pass from André Sousa, and Denmark mitigated the damage by scoring two goals in the last moments.

Portugal, which had entered this main round with two points to the highest for having won its group in the preliminary round with only victories, has four points and therefore has already secured its presence in the semi-finals, despite still having to measure forces with the Hungary this Wednesday.

Game at the Gaia Municipal Sports Pavilion

Portugal v Denmark, 26-20.

At half-time: 17-10.

With refereeing by Ismailj Metalari and Nenad Nikolovski, from Macedonia, the teams lined up and scored:

Portugal (26): Diogo Rema, Tiago Teixeira (2), Francisco Costa (10), André Sousa (3), Nuno Queirós (1), Martim Costa (5) and Pedro Oliveira (1). Also playing: Miguel Oliveira, Gabriel Viana, João Gomes, Gabriel Cavalcanti, Ricardo Brandão (2), Nilton Melo, Vasco Costa (1), António Machado (1) and Francisco Oliveira (gr)

Coach: Carlos Martingo.

Denmark (20): Mikkel Lovkvist, Joachim Als (1), Victor Klove (4), Thomas Arnoldsen (2), Tobias Mygind (1), Julius Morch-Rasmussen (1) and Victor Nevers (3). Also playing: Jonas Raundahl, Mikkel Rasmussen, Rasmus Wenneke (3), Victor Norlyk (3), Simon Ostersen, Valdemar Hermansen (2) and Mathias Dorgelo

Coach: Simon Dahl.

Attendance: around 1,000 spectators.