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Russia suffers "sudden death" at Beijing Olympic men's handball
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08:14, August 15, 2008

Rookie Mikkel Hansen's last-second freekick goal sentenced the "sudden death" of Russia and also brought Denmark a 25-24 win at Beijing Olympic men's handball event here on Thursday.

"As a coach I have encountered all kinds of situations. But it was my first time to lose a game in such a foolish way," said Russian coach Maksimov Vladimir.

With only fifteen seconds left before the buzzer and trailing 23-24 behind Russia, the Danes replaced the goalkeeper with center back Joachim Boldsen to throw the helve after the hatchet. Wearing the keeper's shirt, Boldsen converted Hansen's pass into the net to equalize the score.

The stunned Russian side could have earned the winner, but their long range lob shot soared over the unguarded gate, giving Denmark another chance to launch the counter-attack.

The referees awarded Denmark a freekick just before the end of the game, without a single left on the clock. The Danish side had no choice but to shoot directly.

Born in 1987, green-handed Hansen stood out to give his country a surprise. His curved shot flying past the defending wall and shaved the far post before hitting the net, leaving no time to the slack-jawed Russians.

"It feels absolutely fantastic! There are no words that can explain this. It is just amazing to get two extra points. Russia missed a free throw to give us another chance. It really was just a lucky punch. It is incredible that we have three points after this match," said an excited Hansen after the match.

"Both teams were nervous and there were a lot of unforced mistakes. 20-year-old Hansen came in ten minutes before the end, which was crucial. We kept fighting and believed in ourselves," said Ulrik Wilbek, coach of Denmark in the post-match conference.

It was the first win in the Olympic men's handball snatched by Denmark, newly crowned European champion. They lost to South Korea and tied to Egypt in previous two games.


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