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11.10.2015, 19:09
Big wins for Russia and Spain
«Go back »Print Version


ROUND REVIEW: Two points each for Russia, Spain, Montenegro, Czech Republic and Denmark as the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification super Sunday continued
 

Big wins for Russia and Spain

The Women’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Phase continued on Sunday with a mixture of results.

Ljubljana hosted a close match between Slovenia and Montenegro that ended in a victory for the EHF EURO 2012 champions, while Czech Republic emerged the victors after a back-and-forth match against Ukraine.   

Some bigger score lines were recorded in favour of Russia and Spain, against their hosts Turkey and Bulgaria, respectively.

In Group 6, Denmark played a closer 60 minutes than expected versus Portugal, but claimed the win nonetheless.

It is the second victory of the qualification phase for all five winning sides, as well as the second defeat for all the losing teams. Montenegro, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia and Spain therefore move up to four points while Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Portugal and Slovenia remain on zero.

Group 2:
Ukraine vs Czech Republic 20:24 (12:8)

After a clear loss to Serbia on Thursday, Ukraine put on a stronger performance at home on Sunday when they welcomed Czech Republic.

Early on it looked as though Czech Republic were heading for a comfortable win, as they pulled ahead in the opening minutes – but it was not to last. Ukraine found their feet and quickly closed the gap before taking the advantage.

By half-time the hosts held a four-goal lead, but their advantage disappeared almost as soon as the second period began. Czech Republic put in a 5:1 run that quickly levelled the score at 13:13, before racing to the final whistle with seemingly little resistance from their opponent.

From that point Czech Republic were in control, with the 16:8 score in the second half showing how clearly the visitors dominated the period.

Group 3:
Bulgaria vs Spain 14:39 (8:20)

It was all about Spain from the first whistle to the last. The visiting side scored four goals before Bulgaria answered with their first, and by midway through the half Spain were in front 9:2.

Spain’s strong defence caused a lot of trouble for Bulgaria, with their centre back Elizabeth Omoregie almost completely silenced, scoring two goals compared with her top-scoring eight against the Netherlands in the Round 1 match.

The visitors on the other hand, had goals coming in from all over the court. At half-time, when the ‘Guerreras’ had forged ahead to a clear 20:8 advantage, almost every Spain player had contributed to the scoreboard.

Bulgaria could do little to reduce the significant gap in the second period, and Spain held on to claim the win and their second set of two points.

Group 4:
Slovenia vs Montenegro 20:22 (11:11)

Slovenia scored the first goal of the game and left their guests to trail behind through the opening minutes. A penalty goal from Tamara Mavsar took the score to 4:1 in favour of the home team after six minutes, which seemed enough to wake Montenegro up.

After 15 minutes Slovenia were still in front but the game was on, with the home side now holding only a narrow lead at 5:4.

At that point the Katarina Bulatovic (nine goals) onslaught began – the right back levelled the score with a penalty goal in the 19th minute, but she was not done. Three more goals followed to create a 9:7 lead for the visitors with seven minutes left in the half.

Slovenia fought back with a goal from Maja Son just before the break equalising the match.  

It took another 20 minutes of one-for-one before a significant lead was created. It was Bulatovic again, taking Montenegro one in front at 20:19 as the clock ticked into the last 10 minutes. She struck once more in the middle of a 10-minute scoring drought for Slovenia, and the visitors inched ahead to 22:19.

Ana Petrinja finally put another on the board for Slovenia inside the last two minutes but it was too late. Montenegro claimed their second win of the qualification phase and moved up to four points on the table.

Group 6:
Portugal vs Denmark 21:26 (11:14)

Portugal have only qualified for one EHF EURO event, in 2008, and so are the underdogs to claim one of the two Group 6 tickets to Sweden – but Denmark faced a more difficult challenge than anticipated when they took to the court in Pinhel.

Portugal kept pace with Denmark through the first 25 minutes of the match to see a score line of 10:11. But Denmark pushed hard in the closing minutes of the half with goals from Maria Fisker, Louise Burgaard and Anne Mette Pedersen quickly creating an advantage of four ahead of the break.

This gap ultimately proved crucial, as the second period was as level as the first until the final quarter when Denmark’s strength began to show.

Both teams used almost their whole roster and Portugal kept Denmark within reasonable reach, but the Scandinavian side added a couple more goals to the difference to finish the match comfortably in front.

Turkey vs Russia 30:44 (14:25)

Russia’s powerful backcourt was met by a fighting home side in Ankara, but the favourites lived up to expectations and walked away with their second set of two points.

Led in attack by centre back Daria Dmitrieva and left back Ekaterina Ilina, who contributed nine goals to be the game’s top scorer, Russia created a five-goal lead by the 10-minute mark.

The away team counted on goals from all positions, while Turkey rotated through their bench but could not find the winning combination to counter Russia’s formidable defence.

When Russia led by 11 goals at half-time the situation looked ominous for Turkey.

In the second 30 minutes the home team were unable to challenge their visitors, and when Russia’s Anna Vyakhireva put her side 40:25 ahead the contest was well and truly over.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan / cor
 
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