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28.07.2017, 11:25
Women's 19 EHF EURO opens with defeat for hosts, Denmark and Russia strong
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DAY REVIEW: Slovenia fall to Montenegro as eight games take place on first day.
 

Women's 19 EHF EURO opens with defeat for hosts, Denmark and Russia strong

Eight games were played over the four Women's 19 EHF EURO groups as Slovenia welcomed the very best young handball players of their generation from across Europe.

The full playing schedule can be found HERE and all games are free and live on ehfTV.com.

Group A
Hungary and Romania threw-off their campaign with a neighbourly contest which was an expected tough encounter. This was soon proved by the disqualification of Aura Teodora Popescu for Romania after she picked up her third two-minute suspension just over three minutes into the second half, with Romania playing catch-up after Hungary led 14:11 at the break. Despite seven goals from Sorina Maria Tirca, the Romanians lost 26:21 thanks to eight strikes from the Hungarian EHF Rising Star Noémi Háfra.

In the other group match, Netherlands restricted opponents Sweden to just eight first-half goals, beating them 26:23 (11:8) thanks to seven strikes from Dione Housheer.

Group B
EHF Rising Star Antonina Skorobogatchenko was always going to be influential for Russia in this tournament and in her very first game at Slovenia 2017 her five goals saw off a Norway side who promised much in the first half, but fell away in the second, to lose 23:15 (11:10).

“This was our first match in the tournament, so it was very important," said Viacheslav Kirilenko, Russia’s head coach after the match. "Compared to the team in the previous years we have a lot of new players, so I can say that this is our new national team. The match was very difficult, but the important thing is that we won.”

Another EHF Rising Star, Tena Japundža, was the key player for Croatia, who easily beat FYR Macedonia 35:14 (14:3). As a handball nation, Croatia are known for their strong defence and with just three goals conceded in the first period, the W19 team show no changes from that.

Group C
A tight game in the Dvorana Golovec eventually ended with Germany taking a 21:20 (11:9) victory over Spain as Cesareo Romero’s five goals were not enough for her Spanish side, but got her the best player award for Spain. Annika Lott’s four goals earnt her the best player award for Germany.

In a game of two halves, Serbia led 12:10 at the break against France but eventually lost 26:21. Constance Mauny scored seven for France to finish as top scorer, but teammate Karichma Ekoh’s six goals earnt her the best player award for her country, which was given to Katarin Kosanovic for Serbia.

Group D
Along with Russia, Denmark are tournament favourites and they wasted no time getting their campaign on the road, easily beating Portugal 32:16 (16:8)."It was more difficult than it looked," said Danish coach Heine Mogensen Eriksen. "We were nervous before our first match, but it is important that we started the tournament with a win.”

It was disappointment in the evening game for the hosts as Slovenia lost to Montenegro 24:17 (9:8). EHF Rising Star Maja Vojnovic picked up the best player award for her side, but could not do anything about the six strikes from Montenegrin top scorer Tatjana Brnovic. “The girls wanted to prove themselves, but unfortunately, we lack physical strength and height," said Bojan Voglar, Slovenia’s head coach. "We lost duels, showed signs of fatigue and certainly missed some shots as a result of the pressure of playing in front of our home crowd.”

Later today, all teams are in action as they play their second, and for many, decisive match of the competition.

The full playing schedule can be found HERE and all games are free and live on ehfTV.com.

Photos: Slavko Kolar/Yuri Kodrun/Slovenia 2017


TEXT: EHF
 
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