France suffered their first International Handball Federation Men's Youth World Championship knock-out defeat in six years after a shock quarter-final exit at the hands of Portugal in North Macedonia.
The French, winners of the world title in 2015 and 2017, had no answer at the Jane Sandanski Arena in Skopje as Portugal won 30-26 to reach their first Youth World Championship semi-final.
The Portuguese first took the lead after 10 minutes to go 5-3 ahead and maintained their lead throughout, Martim Costa the star with 11 goals.
It has been an extraordinary run from Portugal, who only qualified for the tournament as a late substitute when no team from Oceania took up their reserved spot in the competition.
They will face another first-time semi-finalist on Saturday (August 17) in Egypt after the North African nation defeated Iceland 35-31 in the opening quarter-final of the day.
The entire Egyptian side was in good form and three players shared the top scorer accolade with seven goals apiece.
The other semi-final on Saturday will take place between Denmark and Germany after they earned victories over Spain and Hungary, respectively at Boris Trajkovski Sports Centre.
Three-time champions Denmark are on course for a fourth after coming from behind to win 23-19 against the Spanish.
Spain led 10-9 at half-time and were level at 15-15 in the second half, however a period of six unanswered Danish goals in a 13-minute period proved decisive.
“The defence from Spain was very, very good early on and we couldn’t find any solution as we were too slow," Denmark coach Simon Sorensen said.
“We played physically and found more speed and that’s what tipped the match for us."
Germany's solid defence proved crucial in a 26-16 win against Hungary, with the Hungarians only able to score seven first-half goals – the second lowest in any match this tournament.
Germany were always comfortable against the profligate Hungarians, opening their 10-goal advantage at 19-9 with 20 minutes left and maintaining their advantage to the end.
The semi-finals take place on Saturday.