The Dutch handball players started their second European Championship with an outright stunt against Hungary. In front of more than twenty thousand Hungarians, the host country was defeated 31-28.
The Dutch men took part in a European Championship for the first time in 2020 and then became seventeenth, while Hungary is the number five of the last World Cup. Nevertheless, Orange was initially superior in the swirling arena in Budapest, where Hungarian president Viktor Orbán was also in the stands.
With the help of Kay Smits, who was declared man of the match with 11 goals, and the fantastic goalkeeper Bart Ravensbergen, the Netherlands had a 13-10 lead at halftime.
In the second half, emotions ran high every now and then, but the Netherlands kept the lead. In the final phase, the Orange seemed to lose control and the Hungarians came back to 28-28.
But in the nerve-wracking final minutes, the formation of national coach Erlingur Richardsson kept a cool head and the victory was won by three goals difference.
Sunday against Iceland
On Sunday, the Orange squad will meet the handball players from Iceland and two days later, on January 18, the last group match is scheduled against Portugal. The numbers 1 and 2 in the group advance to the next round.
The European Championship in Hungary and Slovakia will last until January 30.