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31.03.2014, 10:06
Bulgaria successfully defend Women's Challenge Trophy
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REVIEW: 2012 winners beat Israel 34:23 in the final, while hosts Greece take bronze following 23:26 victory against Belgium
 

Bulgaria successfully defend Women's Challenge Trophy

Bulgaria successfully defended their IHF/EHF Women's Challenge Trophy title they won two years ago in Gabrovo, after beating Israel 34:23 at the 2014 edition of the tournament in Larissa, Greece.

The final was a pretty one-sided affair, with Bulgaria dominating the game from the very first moment.

The tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Elizabeth Omoregie (born in Bulgaria to a Nigerian father and Bulgarian mother) was the leading force in Bulgaria’s attack with ten goals over an Israeli squad that was obviously tired, following Saturday’s thriller against Greece.

"I'm very happy with what we achieved as a team today as well as for the individual prizes I won," said Omoregie.

"We showed the handball world that Bulgaria can play good handball. Despite the poor preparation (we had), caused by financial problems, Bulgaria performed pretty well."

Bulgaria started the match with a 5:0 run in the first eight minutes and by the 20th minute they increased the difference to eight goals (10:2). Israel never really recovered and had to settle with second place in the final ranking.

"What we are missing as a team is more players who can stand (their ground) on a higher level," said Israel's coach Shlomo Hoffman.

"At the moment I have only seven to eight first choice players to my disposal, and in a tournament with five matches in as many days, at
some point fatigue will affect us.

"We need more tournaments, more friendly matches. Of course, we feel happy with second place."

Happy end for frustrated hosts

Hosts Greece earned the bronze medal at the event in Larissa following a well deserved and comfortable 23:16 win over Belgium.

Greece got over the heavy disappointment caused by the defeat they suffered on penalties in the semifinal against Israel  as well as the loss of injured Elena Mournou and were always in control.

"I would like to thank all those who stood by my side and especially the girls," said Greek head coach Sokratis Vakalis.

"We played very good, we might deserve better but we represented our country in a fair way.

"We are satisfied with the way we performed at the tournament. This team deserves to gain more attention and these players comprise for sure the future of Greek handball."

Visit eurohandball.com for a full overview of the IHF/EHF Women's Challenge Trophy's results.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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