Quarter-finalists from Group D decided
Denmark joined Sweden as the quarter-finalists from Group D, securing their position with a win over Japan in the last game of Day 3 at Kreuzbleiche.
The Japanese players, as well their supporters with their large drums, made an enthusiatic start to the game, but they were always going to find it difficult to beat Denmark.
The Danes controlled the game well and were able to keep the ball for most of the period in the Japanese half. When the Japanese were able to attack their small forwards found it difficult to get past the much taller Danish defenders.
Japan were penalised at 4:35 for having too many players on the court, and Denmark´s Stinne Jorgensen scored from the resulting powerplay,
although there was some luck involved, as what was intended as a pass deflected off the Japanese defender into the goal. At 11:46 Line Dyrholm Jensen showed nice individual skills to receive a pass from Stine Lausten, turn and shoot from wide on the court to score Denmark´s second goal. Denmark continued to pressure but some great saves from the Japanese goalkeeper, Chika Sato, meant the score remained at 2-0.
Precision passing and perfect finishing is what Denmark showed in the second period when they scored twice more. Another Japanese penalty early in the period resulted in a beautiful shot from wide on the court into the top corner of the goal by Helle Lyng Grønbech. This was followed a couple of minutes later at 26:26 by some more good passing and another great finish from a tight angle by Maria Olausson, taking the score to 4-0.
Denmark seemed to come out from the dressing room for the last period already thinking their job was done, but Japan surprised them by starting the period with two quick goals. At 42:51 Miho Nakagawa scored Japan´s first goal, and at 44:34 when Natsumi Matsukara´s goal brought the score to 4-2, it was a warning to Denmark that the game was definitely not decided yet. Although Japan continued enthusiastically, Denmark responded to the challenge with goals from Jasmin Damm-Henrichsen (49:47), Kit Baerensten (50.39) & Lisbeth Nøhr (53:36).
The game ended with the score at 7-2. Denmark now look towards the quarter-finals while Japan and USA will both be wanting to get their first win of the championships when they meet tomorrow at Athletik Zentrum.