Bahrain edged past Belgium 30-28 in Group H, with both sides progressing to the next round of the World Championship ©Getty Images

The first group phase of the International Handball Federation (IHF) Men's World Championship drew to a close in Poland and Sweden, with the final five teams securing their place in the main round.

Back-to-back defending champions Denmark had already clinched progress to the next stage with wins again Belgium and Bahrain, and sent Tunisia out of the main tournament courtesy of a 34-21 victory at the Malmö Arena in the Swedish city.

Mathias Gidsel starred for the Danes by scoring eight times, while three-time IHF World Player of the Year Mikkel Hansen was on target six times.

That result ensured that Bahrain joined Belgium in progressing from Group H.

Bahrain had drew to Tunisia and lost to Denmark in their first two matches, and fell 5-0 behind early on to Belgium in their crucial third game in Malmö.

But six goals from Ali Merza and the inspired form of goalkeeper and player of the match Mohamed Ali helped Bahrain to turn the match around as they triumphed 30-28.

Bahrain went through in second place and Belgium in third.

The top three sides from Group G and H have advanced to Group Four in the main round.

Croatia secured their passage from Group G in second place, recovering from a slow start in which they fell 9-4 behind to beat Morocco 36-24 at the Husqvarna Garden in Jönköping.

Luka Cindrić scored with all nine of his attempts for Croatia to help them to their second win of the Championship.

Egypt thrashed the United States 35-16 to clinch top spot, with their opponents going through in third place.

Group F concluded at the Tauron Arena in Kraków, with two winless sides in North Macedonia and Argentina facing off to decide the third qualification place.

Captain Diego Simonet was instrumental in Argentina's 35-26 success, grabbing eight goals and three assists.

Top spot went to the 2019 runners-up Norway, who overturned a 17-13 half-time deficit against The Netherlands to triumph 27-26.

Norway, The Netherlands and Argentina are set to be joined by Germany, Serbia and Qatar from Group E in Group Three of the main round.

Defending champions Denmark beat Tunisia 34-21 to clinch their third win of the IHF Men's World Championship ©Getty Images
Defending champions Denmark beat Tunisia 34-21 to clinch their third win of the IHF Men's World Championship ©Getty Images

Germany progressed with a third win from three by easing past Algeria 37-21 at Spodek in Katowice, while Serbia beat Qatar to second place with a 34-24 victory in the later match.

The main round is due to begin tomorrow with matches in Groups One and Two.

Teams carry over points obtain in the preliminary round against other sides that advanced into the next phase of the competition, and the top two in each of the four groups then progress to the quarter-finals.

Olympic champions France face Montenegro and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Spain are due to play co-hosts Poland in tomorrow's fixtures.

The President's Cup for bottom-ranked teams in the first group stage is also set to begin tomorrow.