IFAF U19 European Championship: Team Denmark earns bronze medal after edging France in overtime

This past Sunday, Denmark edged France 3-0 in overtime in perhaps the lowest scoring medal game in the history of the IFAF Men’s U19 European Championship to earn their second ever bronze medal.

Both teams came into this game looking to rebound from difficult losses they suffered earlier in the tournament, but Denmark also had their eyes set on avenging their loss to France in the 2019 bronze match. This game saw both sides struggling to produce any excitement on the offensive end and headed into overtime with the score knotted at zeros. Denmark managed to kick a field goal on their first overtime possession and used another defensive stand to earn themselves their first bronze medal since 2015. 

Photo: David Bitzan

The first quarter of this intense matchup set the tone for the rest of the game as both teams traded punts throughout. Team France quarterback Antoine Lefebvre and Denmark’s signal caller Magnus Abrahamsen Linnebjerg were unable to string together first downs and build momentum for their teams as the defenses dominated the field. 

The second quarter was more of the same with both teams unable to find the end zone. Denmark managed to push the ball deep into their opponent’s territory, but a high snap allowed France to get their hands on the ball and force the attempted field goal wide. Despite only having a minute and a half left before halftime, France put together a promising drive downfield that relied on the quick legs of running back Ryan Jacquin. The drive resulted in a field goal attempt that was pushed wide left of the post and sent the teams into the half knotted at 0-0. 

The third quarter began with both teams looking to aggressively find the end zone and score the game’s first touchdown. However, France remained unable to put together a complete drive and left the game wide open for Denmark to take control. Denmark tried to punish France for their offensive woes but fell short on two fourth down conversion attempts and had a 62-yard touchdown pass called back due to a penalty. 

Photo: David Bitzan

Still scoreless, the tension within this high-stakes matchup was beginning to build with the offenses seemingly powerless while the defenses remained fortified. The fourth quarter went back and forth, but neither team could tire out the defenses in regular time. 

Overtime began with the ball in Denmark’s possession and their eyes set on taking home the bronze hardware. Although they weren’t able to score the touchdown they had pursued tirelessly all day, a 33-yard field goal gave them the lead and put all the pressure on France. With the ball on their opponent’s three yard-line, France swung a pass over the defense to score their first and only points of the day. Unfortunately for them, a pass interference call cost them 15 yards in the wrong direction and took the air out of their offense. After a failed hail mary pass towards the left corner of the end zone, Denmark rushed the field to celebrate their well-earned win. Led by the resilience and tenacity of their defense, Denmark was able to earn bronze in the IFAF U19 European Championship. 

Will is a student at the University of Michigan where he is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Management. He also has experience in professional scouting and hopes to pursue this field after graduation.