Defending world champions Denmark had no problems in their opening match against Bahrain.
The European team were dominant throughout the match, and a 14-goal victory put them on top of Group D.
It could have started better yesterday for Denmark, whose player Emil Jakobsen tested positive for Covid-19. The Scandinavian team had already lost a few players due to injuries and illnesses before, yet Nikolaj Jacobsen still has an impressive mix of experience and talent at his disposal.
While captain Niklas Landin recorded a save already in the opening seconds and Mikkel Hansen scored the first goal of the match in the second minute, it was 21-year-old Mathias Gidsel who would come into the spotlight soon. The right back from GOG, who played his debut match for Denmark at a major tournament, netted three times already by the 8th minute.
The score was 5-3 by that time, but as the game developed, Denmark took it under their control. Although Landin made only three saves before the break, his teammates worked very well in defence and were efficient in attack, with Gidsel scoring seven goals from seven attempts in the first half.
Bahrain lacked creativity and could not find their way past the strong Danish defence, converting only 37 per cent of their shots before half-time. Their Icelandic coach Halldor Sigfusson took two time-outs by the 25th minute, yet the gap between the teams grew steadily to reach nine goals by the break (19-10).
Early in the second half, the Danes continued in the same way and led 25-13 by the 42th minute. Later on, they somewhat slowed down – Jacobsen actively rotated players, and Bahrain’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abdulhusain made a couple of spectacular saves.
Yet, Denmark continued to dominate, and the outcome was clear long before the final buzzer. The European side won 34-20, and their youngest player Gidsel enjoyed a dream debut, finishing the game with ten goals.