The Hungarian men’s national handball team lost 40-23 to defending champions Denmark in the quarter-finals of the Olympic qualifying World Handball Championship in Stockholm on Wednesday.
The Hungarian team will play for the fifth to eighths place for the first time on Friday, also in the Swedish capital. The team’s goal was to qualify for the Olympic qualification tournament, which they have already achieved by reaching the quarter-finals. Denmark, world champions in 2019 and 2021, reached the tournament’s semi-finals for the 13th time.
Hungary’s national captain José María Rodríguez Vaquero thinks that the men’s handball team’s lack of fight and determination was his responsibility.
“We talked a lot about the fact that I want to see us fight, give everything, try to win and then anything can be the result. But now we did not do that, we did not do our job and when you do not fight against a team like Denmark, that is what happens. It is my responsibility, I am the captain,” said the Spanish coach of the Hungarians, José María Rodríguez Vaquero, in the interview after the match.
He added that
they expected the Scandinavians to start with such fast handball, but he believes his team is not ready for such matches.
He recalled that they started well, Hungarian goalkeeper Roland Mikler had a couple of saves, but in the continuation they were not tough enough in attacking, did not pass accurately, did not try to correct their mistakes, and they did not block enough at the back. Instead, they started to give the ball away, which led to a succession of goals by Denmark.
Bence Bánhidi, one of the team’s players, also said that he did not think that what their opponents produced was unexpected either. The main difference he sees is that the Danes scored about 15 goals from a quick start, while the Hungarians only scored two. “I would not say there was such a big difference between the two teams, but they played handball in a completely different dimension,” admitted Bánhidi.
The Hungarians will play Norway for fifth-eighth place on Friday before concluding their campaign with a place play-off in Stockholm early on Sunday afternoon.
Featured photos via MTI/Kovács Tamás