Men's Youth World Handball Championship hosts North Macedonia are through to the knockout stages of their home tournament despite suffering defeat today at the hands of Denmark in Skopje.
The Danes continued their 100 per cent record in Group C with a 29-26 victory over the hosts at the Boris Trajkovski Sports Centre, their fourth win in as many matches.
Denmark took the lead in the 18th minute, 7-6, and never gave up their advantage from there even though North Macedonia were being roared on by 2,000 home fans.
They were boosted by goalkeeper Svend Bro Rughave, who made 13 first half stops, before the Danes pulled away into a six-goal lead in the second-half, although the North Macedonians scored a flurry of late goals to make the scoreline more acceptable.
The hosts progress after both Bahrain and Nigeria, the sides which could have taken their place in the pool top four, suffered defeats which eliminate them from the competition.
Bahrain were edged out by Argentina, going down 25-24 and Nigeria were beaten 35-30 by Japan.
These results mean Argentina and Japan have also qualified for the last 16, due to start on Wednesday (August 14).
In Group A, Norway also guaranteed their sport in the knockout rounds after a comfortable 35-23 victory over Saudi Arabia.
It means all of the qualification spots from that pool are filled with a game to spare, with Croatia, Spain and Slovenia having already booked their spots in the next stage.
Croatia maintained their 100 per cent record with a 31-21 victory over Slovenia.
Spain kept their unbeaten record after defeating Chile by the same scoreline.