Two More Games to Win

It was nothing for weak nerves. Germany met the reigning world champions in handball, Spain, for the quarter finals. Who ever loses is out.

It was not really a pretty game. I often joke about handball being just an organized gang fight (and since Germany is so good at organizing stuff, they are good at handball). This was not an organized fight, this was an out-and-out knock-em-down-drag-em-out. I can't find a picture to link to, but he had a black-red-yellow welt under his eye after the game from one of the not-so-cuddly Spaniards.

Of course, the Germans were no choir boys, either. Spain has this big lump of a player, Rolando Urios, who just barges through the defense like they were feathers and puts in one goal after the other. The paper this morning has a nice picture of two Germans trying to tackle him, he is shaking them off like they are flies.

So Germany wins, 27:25, and we eat dinner in anticipation of the next games. Both next games, France vs. Croatia and Denmark vs. Iceland, are going to be broadcast in a back-and-forth mode (with commercials at every switch) on the sports channel. So be it.

The focus was going to be on the France vs. Croatia game, because the winner will be the opponent for Germany on Thursday. Boooooooring. The half-time score was 10:9, they were just bouncing the ball around, the goalies were knocking everything out, and it went back and forth. We kept getting glimpses of the Denmark/Iceland game, lots of goals over there and very close.

So France won, and we got to see the rest of the Denmark/Iceland game - what a nail-biter! Iceland was 4 (four!) goals behind, when they gave it that last ounce of effort and Iceland actually tied the game in the last seconds. Overtime is not an often occurence in handball. So they got some rest and went into overtime. Back and forth, goal for Denmark, goal for Iceland. Goal for Iceland, goal for Denmark. Then Iceland began slipping, tied it back up with 30 seconds or so to go, and Denmark went for it, Lars Moller Madsen throwing the winning goal just seconds before the gong.

Snorri Gudjonsson from Iceland had scored 15 goals (I mean, my team sometimes doesn't get that many goals *total* in an entire game....), but it was still one goal too few.

Anyway, it was a great game, and no one expected Iceland to get this far. The trainer, Alfreð Gíslason, said that he was „Stoltur af íslenska liðinu“, proud of the Icelandic team. They sure did a great job.

What a shame, I would have loved to see Germany and Iceland in the finals :) Now we hope for Germany vs. Denmark....

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