Germany vs Denmark

Germany vs  Denmark Ice Hockey World Championship 2018

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ZAGREB (Reuters) – Holders Germany took a stride toward the European handball championship semi-finals with a rugged 22-19 win over the Czech Republic while Olympic champions Denmark followed in their footsteps after a 31-28 victory against Slovenia on Friday.

Handball – Men’s EHF European Handball Championship – main round Group II – Slovenia v Denmark – Arena Varazdin, Varazdin, Croatia – January 19, 2018. Rasmus Lauge Schmidt of Denmark reacts. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

The results put both teams level on four points atop the main round’s Group II, one more than surprise package Macedonia who face Spain (two points) on Sunday.

In Group I, the top four teams are locked on four points each ahead of their doubleheader on Saturday when hosts Croatia play Norway and Sweden meet world champions France.

Handball – Men’s EHF European Handball Championship – main round Group II – Germany v Czech Republic – Arena Varazdin, Varazdin, Croatia – January 19, 2018. Finn Lemke of Germany reacts. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

The top two from each of the six-team groups will advance to the semi-finals, with the final scheduled for Jan. 28.

The Germans scored six goals without reply to wipe out an 18-16 deficit and Wolff pulled off several stunning saves during the streak, including a penalty by the Czech Republic’s top scorer Ondrej Zdrahala.

Zdrahala had a quiet game after rifling in 14 goals in a 33-27 preliminary round pool win over Hungary which sent the Czechs through but was held to four goals from 12 shots by the stubborn Germany defense.

The Danes pulled away from battling Slovenia, who were roared on by a full house of their fervent fans in the Varazdin Arena, midway through the second half with winger Lasse Svan netting 11 goals to claim the Man of the Match award.