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News Details

Date: 4/9/2016

The second day of Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament III matches sees Croatia and Bahrain playing for their first set of two points, before Denmark and Norway meet for a Scandinavian derby that could decide one of the group’s tickets to the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Saturday April 9 in Jyske Bank BOXEN, Herning
Croatia vs Bahrain 18.00 local time

The losing teams from the first match day enter the court for the first match on Saturday looking for their first set of two points. Having lost their opening game, neither team can afford a defeat if Rio is to remain in sight. 

In the first round of games on Friday Croatia lost 24:28 to Denmark in a physical match, which was close most of the time, while Bahrain were able to keep their game against Norway close for nearly 45 minutes before conceding defeat. 

For former Olympic gold medalists Croatia, failing to qualify for the Olympics would be an extreme disappointment, while Bahrain can probably play a bit more freely as they do not have the same level of external pressure that the Croatians.
The match is likely to be a meeting between two aggressive defensive systems and end with a Croatian victory, which will mean a thrilling day of games on Sunday when the tickets to Rio must be decided. 

Denmark vs Norway 20.30 local time

The Scandinavian neighbours know each other inside out – the match on Saturday night will be the 127th duel between the two nations. Denmark have won 83 times, Norway 34, and nine matches have ended in a draw. The three latest meetings may have ended in Denmark’s favour, but this will be the first competitive match between the two countries in six years and Norway have made considerable leaps forward during that time. 

The winner of Saturday’s match will take a major step towards Olympic qualification, and may even be able to book their ticket for Rio before the last match day, depending on the results of the Croatia-Bahrain game. 

Both teams had to spend quite a lot of resources in their matches on Friday. It took Norway 45 minutes to shake off Bahrain and win 35:29, while the Danes defeated Croatia in a physical match only decided in the final moments. 

“We almost always play close matches against Norway, and I am sure it will be difficult once again,” Denmark´s goalkeeper Niklas Landin said. 

Denmark may have an advantage in the fact that coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson rested several players against Croatia.