Danes edge Sweden in handball thriller
Denmark defeated Sweden as they opened their handball account at the Copper Box
Three-time Olympic women's handball champions Denmark opened their London 2012 campaign with a thrilling 21-18 victory over Scandinavian rivals Sweden at the Copper Box.
The Danish women were neck and neck with their opponents in the Group B preliminary clash for the majority of the game, but four goals in the final few minutes took them over the winning line, with Sweden unable to match them.
In a tight group, where all six teams harbour realistic hopes of getting through, an early win for Denmark will give them a solid footing for their next outing with South Korea on Monday.
And pivot Mette Melgaard was delighted her side came out with the right result.
"Before we came here we had some bad matches but we played like a team and fought hard," she told Press Association Sport. "It gives us confidence for the next game, it is so nice to get a good start in the Olympics, we are loving being here."
In the afternoon's Group A match Brazil gave themselves a great chance of reaching the quarter-final stages by edging past Croatia 24-23.
Both sides matched each other blow for blow until the South Americans produced the decisive period of play by scoring four consecutive goals with 10 minutes remaining to open up a three-goal lead.
And there was no way back for the Croatians, who saw their first-ever game at the Olympics end in defeat.
Earlier in the day Russia and South Korea both opened their campaigns with victories. Russia saw off a spirited fightback from Angola to register a 30-27 win in the opening match in Group A, while South Korea comfortably beat Spain 31-27 in Group B, which was something of a surprise result.
The Asian side, who won gold at Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, were strong from the off as Spain struggled to cope with their opponents' speed and rugged defending.
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