Main Round Group II, 23 January

HAMBURG – Comments from Slovenia head coach Uros Zorman (SLO), goalkeeper Clemen Ferlin (SLO) and center back Miha Jarabek (SLO), Denmark head coach Nikolaj Jacobsen (DEN), back Henrik Møllgaard (DEN) and goalkeeper Niklas Landin (DEN) ; Netherlands head coach Staffan Olsen (SWE), left winger Rutger den Velde (NED) and center back Luke Steins (NED), and Portugal head coach Paulo Pereira (POR), goalkeeper Diogo Rema Marquez (POR) and right winger Antonio Aria (POR) The Netherlands beat Portugal 33:33 and Slovenia beat Denmark 28:25 at the Barclays Arena on Tuesday.

Slovenia vs Denmark

Uros Sorman (SLO) – Head Coach, Slovenia

About Success:
„My team had a big motivation to win today because Portugal got a draw against the Netherlands and we knew a win meant going to Cologne. We played well,” he said.

Clemen Ferlin (SLO) – Goalkeeper

In the win against Denmark:
“I don't think anyone believed we could win against Denmark. A strong team no matter who plays. We agreed that we will do our best against them and we want to show the true power of Slovenia and our best. We showed that throughout the game,” he said.

Performance of Goalkeepers:
“Urban [Lesjak] And I have a good relationship, but our good performance came from our strong defense. Our teammates fought hard on the court and helped us a lot.

When visiting Cologne:
„We have achieved our goal, we are in Cologne and fighting for fifth place. For us, it doesn't matter who we face. We will try to play well and win,” he said.

Miha Jarabek (SLO) – Center back

In the win against Denmark:
“After the match between Portugal and Netherlands, we said we will give our best without any pressure. Just to enjoy the game.

“From the first minute, we had good tempo and good saves. I'm proud of what we achieved, we know who Denmark are, they have a fantastic team and despite everything we did a great job.

In the Danish team:
“I know Nikolaj [Jacobsen], it was not easy for him. He wants to win every game, he is that character. And that's why I'm still glad we did it. Luck was on our side in the end with a few [Urban] Lesjak saved and their lost balls. It was those little details that decided the game. We are excited to visit Cologne.

About performance:
„We knew Denmark could come back in the second half and the tempo they played caught us in a few minutes. We never gave up, we just kept pushing our case.

„We were lucky because of some of their mistakes and the only important thing is that we won. We never came close to winning, that's why this win is even bigger for us and an extra motivation for us.

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On the importance of success:
„For us, it's good that we didn't end the European Championship with too much defeat, we're still in a game that gave us new wings. Nevertheless, we have to try to stay calm and be ready for Friday's game.

Possible cologne antagonists:
„Well, I would like to play against Germany, but they have a good chance of going to the semi-finals. So, let's say Austria. Our Slovenian, Ales Pajovic, should be on the other side. They are playing a good match.

Nikolaj Jacobsen (DEN) – Head Coach, Denmark

About failure:
“We rested some players in this match as it is a very tough match. So the rhythm of our game is not what we usually play. Our main problems were in the first half. In the second half we played a good defensive game and managed to get the goals we needed.

Henrik Molgaard (DEN) – Pin

Men's first defeat at EHF EURO 2024:
„We had a chance to rest two guys who played a lot of minutes in the tournament. We have tough games in Cologne on Friday and Sunday, but we came and tried to win.

„If you are not 100 percent in the European Championship it is difficult for us to win. We know we will face a team with a lot of upside and a good chance. We are a bit disappointed with the performance. Our eyes were already on Cologne.

In the Danish team:
„It's part of the game plan to rest and allow guys who haven't played much so they can contribute and get some confidence before the last couple of games. That's part of why we had some trouble finding a rhythm.

„When you're missing [Simon] Baitlik duck [Mathias] Kitchell with so much pace and goals, you know it's going to be a different game. We saw that against Slovenia.

Niklas Landin (DEN) – Goalkeeper

On the loss against Slovenia:
“We were a bit unlucky towards the end of the game with some recoveries for the Slovenian players. I think it made an impact when you have three big players in the crowd. Slovenia played very well and had something important to fight for.

Feeling after defeat and Danish overall performance:
„He [coach Nikolaj Jacobsen] Not happy. We don't want to lose, neither the coach nor us players. We have had a good tournament so far, but we can't be at a high level yet. We can raise more. Hopefully we can get to Cologne and play at our best in the final – against Germany, at least I think.”

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Netherlands vs Portugal

Staffan Olsson (SWE) – Head Coach, Netherlands

In the competition:
„It was a tight game. I am proud of my team and how they performed after this tough match. We suffered in the previous games. For us this game is not that important but my team showed talent. The Portuguese [Diogo Rêma Marques] Did an amazing job.”

Rutger den Velde (NED) – Left Wing

In the last match against Portugal:
„I'm happy we got a point because it was a tight game and it will be sad for us to say goodbye to the European Championship without any points in the main round. We fought until the end; we showed the crowd that we still have some energy. We fought for our honor and we did it so far. It's a great opportunity mentally to show that we can do good one more time despite the results.”

In overall performance:
„We had some problems before the match with K Smits and Tom Jensen missing, but then we started the match well with two wins and a strong performance against Sweden. I still feel bad that we didn't take points from that game.

„Then we lost Samir Benganem and Thoms Houtpen, and against Portugal, we didn't have Dani Baigens. So, overall, we struggled to find some energy in the game. We'll try to attack the next match with a fit squad.

Luke Staines (NED) – Center back

Against Portugal:
“We came into the game with determination. We wanted to have a good last game and I think we showed fighting spirit. That's something that's always stood us in good stead in our team. We were unlucky in some games where we didn't pick up some of the points we needed. Against Portugal, we took at least one and ended the match with a small smile.

In their play:
“I felt I could have scored more in the first half. In the final moments of the game, I think there is still room for improvement. If you watch the match, in many games the opponent's goalkeeper was the man of the match, sometimes even our fault. We have to overcome this and perform better in the next match,” he said.

In overall performance:
„We wanted to come to Germany a little bit more and qualify for the Olympic Games qualifiers. In the end, we didn't manage it. I'm disappointed about that, but we can be proud of the performance we did.

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“We were close every game. It might be hard to expect more with all the injuries we've had. We don't have such a big team, it's only important for us to fight till the end and show our strong mentality.

Paulo Pereira (POR) – Head Coach, Portugal

In the competition:
“I saw a good performance from both the teams. We did it better. We had a lot of pressure for this game. The first half was strange. In the second half we played very well and had a good defence. There were good changes in the Netherlands attack. I am happy with my players and I am proud of what we have done. It was amazing.”

Diogo Rêma Marques (POR) – Goalkeeper

In the draw against Netherlands:
„We started very badly, especially in defense in the first half. In the second half, we tried to play better, we did it, we started to be ahead in some moments, but it wasn't enough to win. We know that we have to wait for Slovenia and Denmark to play their game, and of course we Cheering for Denmark.

About the Portuguese performance:
„We lost a few balls in attack, but it happens. We have to improve if we want to play the next match in Cologne, which we want. We want to play in the placement competition, finish fifth and get the best ranking ever in the European Championship.

Antonio Aria (POR) – Right Wing

In the match against Netherlands:
“A very tough game against the Netherlands. Both teams are equal and we were probably in a better moment in the competition than them before this game. The Netherlands are a tough team and have a good fighting spirit.

“Our team had a tough start to the tournament, I don't know if it was energy or focus. We started well in the second half, mixed it up, got a little better defensively and tried to level the game. We were ahead and had a ball to take a two-goal lead, but in the end, it was a hard-fought and tight game. Of course, we are not counting on ourselves to go to Cologne right now, but we hope it will happen.

About their performance:

“We were fortunate that our goalkeepers were good and saving shots from every position, not just against the Netherlands, but they had a good match. „When we have goalkeepers like that, we have to play better in attack and play faster.”

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