Hosts Denmark are through to the second group phase at the European Women's Handball Championship ©Getty Images

World champions The Netherlands are facing the prospect of first-round elimination at the European Women's Handball Championship after a second defeat in as many days in Denmark.

The Dutch lost 27-15 to Croatia to leave them bottom of Group C.

Croatia in turn are top of the group and through to the next stage of the competition, with Larissa Kalaus named player of the match after scoring nine goals, including Croatia's last to ice the game.

Group C is unfolding in Kolding and The Netherlands must defeat Hungary on Tuesday (December 8) if they are to advance.

Hungary, who lost to Croatia in their opening match, beat Serbia 38-26 today.

Szandra Szöllősi-Zácsik found the net 10 times for Hungary, and the result leaves both teams on two points, each needing a draw in their final match to ensure they progress from Group C.

Over in Herning, defending champions France made it two wins from two and booked their place in the next group stage.

France's defence impressed against Slovenia - including going more than 12 minutes without conceding a goal at one stage - and they won 27-17.

Estelle Nze Minko was one of two French players to score seven goals and was named player of the match.

Hosts Denmark have also secured their passage to the next round, following a 28-19 win over Montenegro.

Slovenia and Montenegro, both winless, are due to meet on Tuesday to decide who else advances from Group A.

The final games in Group B and Group D are scheduled for tomorrow as the tournament continues.