Overtime, Overtime, Overtime and More Overtime!

I guess Denmark’s 42-41 quarterfinal overtime victory Tuesday over Iceland wasn’t enough for the IHF, so they mandated that both semifinal matches be extended into overtime. This is getting downright silly! Quite frankly you’d have a hard time scripting two better semifinal matches than handball fans world-wide had the privilege of watching Thursday night.
First off, Germany and France played a double-overtime match that see-sawed back and forth over 80 minutes of action. At no time in the match did either team lead by more than 2 goals and from the 46 minute mark no lead ever exceeded 1 goal. It’s a shame one of the teams had to lose. At least it didn’t get decided by penalty throws.

Not to be outdone, the 2nd semifinal also played a double-overtime with upstart Poland continuing their Cinderella run all the way to the final, upending Denmark 36-33. Give credit to coach Bogdan Wenta who went to his bench in the 2nd overtime as stars like Karol Bielecki appeared to be winded.

Poland will now face Germany for the Championship Sunday afternoon. Germany’s only loss in the tournament was to Poland in the preliminary round 27-25. I’m sure a lot of people after that preliminary round match, though, “Yeah, these two teams of destiny are going to meet again in the finals.” Perhaps a few observers might have been thinking that Germany could bounce back and make a good run on home soil, but few, if any, were expecting big things from Poland. Just how big an underdog was Poland going into the tournament? Well, let’s just say at 50-1 to win it all, there probably are a few fans in Warsaw with a little monetary interest in the outcome on Sunday.

Archived odds: http://teamhandballnews.com/page.php?13