France overcame Spain in a closely fought encounter ©Getty Images

France narrowly overcame Olympic bronze medallists Spain today to reach the quarter-finals of the Women's World Handball Championships in Denmark.

Nerea Pena and Elisabet Chavez had helped Spain get off to an excellent start in the last-16 tie, helping them establish a 12-9 half-time lead at the Sydbank Arena in Kolding.

Gnosniane Niombla led the French fightback, however, as she found the net on eight occasions to guide her team to a 22-21 victory, with the result seeing them face The Netherlands in the quarter-final, after they defeated Serbia yesterday.

Poland proved to be the dominant team in the opening stages of their match with Hungary at the Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning as they built a 9-4 advantage, but four goals from Dora Hornyak helped swing the clash in the Hungarians favour and they entered half-time 14-13 ahead.

The momentum of a thrilling match continued to change hands throughout the second half but Poland were eventually able to see out a 24-23 win, despite defensive specialist Monika Stachowska receiving a two-minute suspension in the closing stages.

Russia recorded their sixth straight win to reach the quarter-final
Russia recorded their sixth straight win to reach the quarter-final ©Getty Images

Polish hopes of reaching the last four will be severely threatened by Russia, after they continued their unbeaten run at the tournament in Kolding, as the four-time winners search for a first title since 2009.

They battled past the challenge of an unpredictable South Korean team, who had advanced in fourth place from Group C, by sealing a 30-25 win, Olga Levina finding the net on six occasions.

The final place in the quarter-final line-up was claimed by Montenegro, who ended the African challenge at the Championships, brushing aside Angola.

The Angolan team had scrapped into the knock-out phase by beating China in their final Group B tie, but were unable to pose a threat to Group A winners Montenegro, who recorded a 38-28 victory in Herning. 

A mouth-watering quarter-final clash with back-to-back Olympic champions Norway awaits Montenegro, with both teams showing fine form in Denmark.

All four last eight ties are set to take place on December 16, following tomorrow’s rest day.

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