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23.03.2012, 12:15
Romanians aim to settle score with Serbia
«Go back »Print Version


Coach Voina looking for confidence boost.

»EHF Euro Events Channel »2012 Women's News
»
 

Romanians aim to settle score with Serbia

A 29:27 defeat by Serbia in their EHF EURO 2012 Group 2 qualifier on Thursday (22 March) has left Romania, the bronze medalists from the last EHF Women's European Championship in Denmark and Norway two years ago, with work to do if they are to reach this year’s finals in the Netherlands.

Despite being odds-on favourites in a group also including underdogs Portugal and Greece, losing to the Serbs in front of a fervent 3,000 crowd in Zajecar, coupled with Portugal’s 30:18 away win over Greece, means the Romanians now need to beat Serbia on home soil in the reverse fixture in Turnu Severin on Saturday (24 March) to stay in the driving seat to clinch one of the top two spots.

Roared on by a capacity home crowd, Serbia produced an inspired performance and led 17:10 late in the first half and 26:20 in the game’s closing stages before they took their foot off the gas pedal.

“Serbia played a very good game and deserved to win but I am not disappointed because we had nine new players in our team and I think they responded well,” Romania coach Radu Voina told reporters after the hotly-contested encounter.

“The new arrivals need time to adapt and in the second half they showed that we have plenty to look forward to once they mould as a team,” he said. “Both teams are in a commanding position to qualify for EHF EURO 2012 in the Netherlands and I can only congratulate Serbia for making it three wins out of three,” he said.

Goalkeeper Teresa Pislaru, familiar with the atmosphere in Zajecar as she plays for the Serbian champions and has so far had an outstanding season with them, had another superb evening with nine saves.

The towering keeper showed no nerves although she found herself in an unfamiliar role of being the opposition to many of her Zajecar team-mates playing for Serbia. It was Elena Babeanu, however, who carried the Romanian challenge with five goals but her valiant solo effort could not stop Serbia from winning.

“They were the better team and outplayed us in a very tough match but I hope we will turn the tables on them at home,” Babeanu said as she headed for the locker room.

Serbia coach Sasa Popovic was understandably elated after what he called Serbia’s best performance in the last 10 years. “It was a great win for us and credit to the girls for showing heart, resilience and character, we beat a fantastic Romanian team and this will be a huge impetus for my players and the fans too,” Boskovic said.

“We had many new players but they were brilliant, especially in the first half. Biljana Filipovic was especially good, she was hungry and everything she tried worked to perfection. We had several dips but that’s normal because you can’t keep up with the pace throughout the 60 minutes, the girls responded to adversity whenever they needed to,” he added.

Serbia will host the IHF 2013 World Championship and Boskovic hopes his team will not only be medal contenders after the men’s team finished runners-up on home soil in EHF EURO 2012 in January, but also draw the kind of sellout crowds which carried the Serbs to their first handball podium finish as an independent nation.

“I hope we will be able to pull a capacity crowd in the Belgrade Arena like the men’s team did, if this is anything to go by we have a good chance,” Boskovic pointed out.

Serbia’s left wing Jovana Bartosic was also upbeat. “We showed great team spirit, congratulations to Romania for a good game but they stood no chance because we were in control from start to finish,” she said. “I expect us to play even better in the reverse fixture in Romania because we are under no pressure after winning our opening three games.”

Further Information

Find more information on the Women's EHF EURO 2012 Qualification HERE.

View more detailed information on the event on the Official EHF EURO 2012 Website.
www.ehf-euro.com/NED2012/

 


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic
 
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