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01.12.2014, 10:49
Women's teams prepare for EHF EURO 2014
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NEWS REPORT: A number of friendly matches took place between Europe’s women’s national teams over the weekend as the squads prepare for the EHF EURO 2014, which throws off on Sunday in Hungary and Croatia
 

Women’s teams prepare for EHF EURO 2014

With the EHF EURO 2014 throwing off this coming weekend in Hungary and Croatia, Europe’s top women’s teams are undergoing their final preparations this week.

Many of the teams played friendly matches and tournaments over the past weekend – the Netherlands hosted Russia in two-game series, Spain and Poland contested at the International Tournament of Spain 2014 against Brazil and Tunisia in Fuengirola, Slovakia welcomed Ukraine for two friendly matches, Romania upset Germany twice, and Hungary recorded a decisive win over Austria.

Hungary win big in first Audi Arena international

Joint EHF EURO 2014 hosts Hungary made a strong statement in Györ on Saturday, defeating Austria with a clear win of 38:24 (22:13).

It was an easy win for Hungary, who used the match to try different combinations. The fact that the match was also the first international in the brand new Audi Arena, which only opened its doors a few weeks ago, makes the victory all the more special for the home side.

Hungary will play one final preparation match against France on Thursday in Györ.

Spain looking strong as Poland struggle

Spain welcomed fellow EHF EURO 2014 participants Poland, along with 2013 world champions Brazil and Tunisia to Fuengirola for the International Tournament of Spain (Torneo Internacional de Espana) over the weekend.

The tournament opened on Friday with matches between Brazil and Tunisia, and Spain and Poland. Friday’s meeting between the two EHF EURO 2014 Group A squads was a crucial one for both teams, serving as a preview for what to expect when the sides face each other in Györ.

Spain came out best against Poland, recording a six-goal win (23:17) that reflected their strong performance over the weekend. The tournament hosts also beat Tunisia (32:21) on Saturday before meeting Brazil in the final where they lost by four goals (20:24).

Poland meanwhile, suffered two losses – first at the hands of Spain then against Brazil (33:22). The team showed inconsistency, performing much better against Spain on Friday than they did against Brazil on Saturday.

Spain and Poland are in Group A along with Hungary and Russia.

The Netherlands come out on top against Russia

Russia travelled to the Netherlands last Friday for two matches against their hosts.

The teams were evenly matched in both games, with the first resulting in a draw (29:29) and the Netherlands winning the second by two goals (27:25).

“I’ve seen some good things – we can build from here. These matches are important for fine tuning,” said Dutch coach Henk Groener.

The Netherlands are in the tough but fairly open Group C, and will be facing Sweden, Germany and Croatia in their EHF EURO 2014 group matches. Russia are in Group A, where they will meet tournament hosts Hungary, Spain and Poland.

Romania record two wins against Germany

Romania travelled to Germany for two matches this past weekend and were rewarded with two solid victories.

The visitors won the first match 23:27 (11:18) and the second with an almost identical score line of 23:26 (10:13).

“We have to improve in defence and attack, especially in terms of capitalising on chances and counter attacks – serious opponents await in Croatia,” said German coach Heine Jensen.

Romania are in Group B with Norway, Denmark and Ukraine, while Germany will meet Sweden, Croatia and the Netherlands in Varazdin.

Slovakia and Ukraine take a win each

Slovakia and Ukraine met in two friendly matches on Saturday and Sunday in Michalovce, with Ukraine taking a three-goal victory on Saturday (27:30) and Slovakia recording a six-goal win on Sunday (29:23).

Slovakia coach Dusan Poloz said the matches had served well as part of his squad’s preparation.

“The games this weekend answered our last questions and helped us fine-tune our squad,” he said.

Ukraine are in Group B with Norway, Denmark and Romania. Slovakia will face Montenegro, France and Serbia in Osijek.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ts
 
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