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24.08.2013, 10:28
Sweden and Russia reach final of Women's 17 EHF EURO
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Sweden beat Denmark and Russia overcome Portugal to secure a spot in the final tournament's last match. Each player of the four semi-finalists was named "Young Handball Ambassodor" by a new initiative of the European Handball Federation's Women's Handball Board to strengthen women's handball
 

Sweden and Russia reach final of Women's 17 EHF EURO

Russia and Sweden will battle for gold on Sunday at the Women's 17 EHF EURO in Poland.

In the semi-finals which were played on Friday night Sweden beat Denmark 30:28, while Russia, winners of the 2011 Women's 17 EHF EURO in Czech Republic, beat Portugal 35:23.

However, all four teams were winners as each player of the four semi-finalists was named a "Young Handball Ambassador" and presented with a small gift in an initiative by the EHF's Women's Handball Board to strengthen women's handball.

The final and the bronze medal match will be played on Sunday with the match for third place throwing off at 15:00 hrs local time and the gold medal match starting at 17:30 hrs.

All matches can be followed via a live stream. More information can also be found on the event's official website.

Also become a fan of the European Handball Federation's Women's EHF EURO Facebook page for more photos and to keep up to date with all the latest developments in European women's national team handball.

Lead changes constantly between Denmark and Sweden

The match between neighbouring nations Denmark and Sweden was an even affair.

The lead constantly changed between the opponents in the first half, and both teams went into the changing rooms with the score being 14:14.

It was much of the same in the second half and subsequently the match was decided in its dying seconds, when Sofia Hvenfelt gave Sweden a 29:28 lead in the 58th minute which Denmark could not answer anymore.

Hanna Blomstrand then scored the last goal of the match.

"All in all I think we played a very good game, the key moment was when we started to lead by three goals (by the 56th minute) and the girls got this 'we can win' feeling," said Sweden's coach Niklas Blomgren.

"We played extremely good defense and we became better and better, both in defense and offense. This game was one of the best and I think that we will play even better on Sunday."

Russia ease past Portugal

The second semi-final was much more one sided with Russia dominating their Portuguese opponents at will.

At half-time the score already stood at 20:8 and thirty minutes later the scoreboard showed a 35:23 in favour of Russia.

The Russian therefore kept their chance to successfully defend their title as they finished the 2011 Women's 17 EHF EURO in the top position ahead of Denmark and Norway.

"The target was to win this game and we did it," said Russia's coach Liubov Sidoricheva. "We want to win the gold medal and we are playing better and better the more we play. With every match our team is stronger and we are more effective."

"It was a tough game, many of my key players were very tired," said his Portuguese counterpart Joao Florencio.

"Especially in the beginning of the game that was very visible. Russia showed very good handball and they showed us where we are. We are long way away Russian team."

Placement matches on Saturday and Sunday

In the placement matches Slovakia and Poland play for 15th. Spain and Czech Republic play for 13th rank, France and Netherlands for 11th and Germany and Hungary for 9th. All matches take place on Saturday (24 August).

Before the finals throw off on Sunday, Norway face Croatia for 7th rank and Romania play Montenegro for 5th.

The top 11 teams from the Women's 17 EHF EURO directly qualify for the 2014 Women's Youth World Championship.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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