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31.07.2017, 10:15
Russians and Danes living up to tag of favourites
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DAY REVIEW: The final round of preliminary matches at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO in Slovenia saw the hosts fail to progress, with the next round of competition set for Tuesday
 

Russians and Danes living up to tag of favourites

The final round of preliminary matches at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO in Slovenia saw the hosts fail to progress, with the next round of competition set for Tuesday.

For all the fixtures and results click HERE.

Group A
Sweden won their first game, beating the already-qualified Hungarians, 24:23, but it was not enough for the Swedes, despite nine goals from Julia Olsson and the Scandinavians coming from behind at half-time (14:12). Noemi Pasztor was best player for Hungary along with Olsson for Sweden.

“It would have been nice to win,” said Bela Bartalos, Hungary’s goalkeeping coach. “However, we gave more opportunity to the girls who had played less in the first two matches, and rested some girls who had played the most minutes so far.”

Netherlands sealed their progression through to the main round with a 31:24 (16:14) win over Romania meaning the Romanians did not progress in this clash for second place.

“We started the match well,” said Ion Craciun, Romania’s head coach. “But, unfortunately, we failed to maintain the lead as the girls did not play with enough passion.

“We made a lot of mistakes throughout the match, and our opponent used them to its advantage. We have a young but good team, so I hope that the girls will learn a lot from today’ s match and build a strong national team in the future.”

The match saw the tournament’s two top-scorers increase their tallies with Netherlands’ Dione Housheer’s 12 strikes taking her to 25 and Sorina Maria Tirca’s seven taking her to 22.

Group B
Russia continued their dominance and so did Antonina Skorobagatchenko – her seven strikes adding to Russia’s 30:20 (13:8) win over Croatia to confirm their top spot. Marija Dudina (RUS) and Antonela Kalcic, with her five strikes for Croatia, were named best players.

Norway easily beat FYR Macedonia 40:20 (19:9) to finish second behind the Russians and gain progression through to the main round. Line Ellertsen was named best player for Norway with seven goals and the Macedonian top-scorer Iva Bozinovska, who scored six was named best player for her side.

“We are very happy that we advanced to the main round, as we were under a lot of pressure after losing against Russia in the first match,” said Kenneth Gabrielsen, Norway’s assistant coach.

“The girls played well today, they were concentrated and ran a lot. In the first three matches, all 16 players entered the court and got a feel for the surface. I think that our next match is against the Netherlands. They play very fast handball, so we have to come well-prepared. Nevertheless, I feel that we are raising the level of our game match by match, so I believe that we have a chance to win.”

Group C
France overcame Spain 37:25 (16:14) to end in top place in their group as a best player performance from Jannela Blonbou saw her score 10 goals. Ona Vegue Pena’s eight goals gave her the award for Spain, who finish third.

“We played a tough match,” said Eric Baradat, France's head coach. “Spain played very fast handball, which caused us several problems, but we stayed calm. In the second half, we started playing better and better, while Spain’s performance was dropping.

“The toughest matches are still ahead. Every team in the top eight will has an equal opportunity to secure a place in the semi-final.”

Germany beat Serbia 26:20 (10:10) to finish second and push Serbia into last place in the group in a match which saw two red cards, one for each team, for three x two-minute suspensions.

Group D
Unfortunately for the hosts Slovenia, a 26:20 loss against Denmark saw them crash out of the competition. Hana Vucko’s eight goals which gained her the best player for the home side were not enough and they join bottom team Portugal, who lost 21:15 to Montenegro in the intermediate round. Montenegro and the perfect Danes progress.

“I would like to congratulate the girls on excellent defensive play,” said Bojan Voglar, Slovenia’s head coach. “We played against Denmark at a preparation tournament in Hungary two weeks ago and lost by 16 goals. Today we lost by six goals and showed a completely different approach to the match.

“Perhaps we lost our focus on offence, as we failed to convert several opportunities. The final gap is maybe too big, but we must not forget that Denmark won the gold medal at the EHF Women’s 17 EURO two years ago and silver medal at the IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship last year. This is a top-class team that knows how to play top-level handball.”

Main Round and Intermediate Round to come

The next round of games start tomorrow (Tuesday 1 August) in both the Main and Intermediate Round, with the second match in the round the following day (Wednesday 2 August).

In the main round, group one features Hungary and Russia – on two points – with Netherlands and Norway completing the group of four with zero points. Group two features Denmark and France (2) alongside Germany and Montenegro (0).

The intermediate groups feature Croatia and Romania (2) along with Sweden and FYR Macedonia (0) in group one and Spain and Slovenia (2) with Portugal and Serbia (0).

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

Photos: Slavko Kolar/Jurij Kodrun/Slovenia 2017


TEXT: EHF / amc
 
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