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23.08.2013, 16:13
Portugal shine in Poland
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The team from the Iberian peninsula is the surprise package among the four semi-finalists at the Women's 17 EHF EURO
 

Portugal shine in Poland

One of the biggest surprise packages at the Women's 17 EHF EURO 2013 in Poland is the team from Portugal which advanced to the semi-final where they will meet Russia (Friday, 23 August, 20:30 hrs - watch it on the live stream)

The team of head coach Sandra Fernandes secured their spot among the last 4 with a 21:20 main round victory against Montenegro already on Tuesday (20 August) - with then four points in their account they could afford losing against Denmark 21:38 on Wednesday.

"I'm proud of my team, they show good handball and fight until the final whistle. They were fantastic against Montenegro.

"This team never gives up and you will never see negative emotions in these girls," said Fernandes.

However, Fernandes still vividly remembers how narrowly they fought their way through the group phase.

They lost against Poland and drew with Spain. A four-goal victory against Romania (25:21) was then just enough to advance as Spain and Portugal both finished with three points in their account - but while Portugal had a goal difference of "0", Spain was left with "-1".

"We had to win with four goals and did it," said Fernandes after the match against Romania.

The added bonus: By advancing to the final tournament's main round, Portugal automatically secured their spot at next year's Youth World Championship for which the top 11 ranked teams from the Women's 17 EHF EURO qualify directly.

Patricia Rodrigues, who netted 32 times already, is Portugal's best scorer. Her outstanding performance was a key factor in the win against Montenegro.

"We believed all the time that we can advance. We have been working hard for these results," she said.


TEXT: Maciej Firlej / ts
 
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