France, Norway advance to semi-finals at worlds


France kept their title defence on track seeing off a dogged Sweden 33-30 to advance to the semi-finals of the world handball championships on Tuesday.

The hosts had trailed 16-15 at half-time in the quarter-final clash in the northern city of Lille as Lukas Nilsson powered Sweden with five first-half goals.

But thanks to some key substitutions such as Vincent Gerard, Kentin Mahe and Nedim Remili, the French battled back to keep their bid for a sixth world title on track.

Olympic champions Denmark and European holders Germany are already eliminated from the tournament to boost French hopes.

France next play Slovenia or Qatar on Thursday for a place in the final.

Earlier, Norway booked their first semi-final spot at the worlds with a 31-28 win over Hungary in Albertville.

Espen Lie Hansen, Sander Sagosen and goalkeeper Torbjorn Bergrund laid the groundwork for the Norwegian win.

The Norwegians, whose highest world ranking of six was back in 1958, will meet either Spain or Croatia on Friday for a place in the final.