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18.08.2018, 22:49
Hungary to challenge Russia for women's under-18 world title
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SEMI-FINAL REVIEW: With clear wins over South Korea and Sweden, two teams from Eastern Europe have advanced to the final of the Women's Youth World Championship

»World Championships Channel »2018 Women's News
»
 

Hungary to challenge Russia for women's under-18 world title

Russia remain on course for a record third gold medal in the women’s under-18 category, having set up a final against Hungary at the Women’s Youth World Championship 2018 in Kielce, Poland.

Russia, who lifted the trophy in 2008 and in 2016, defeated Sweden 29:23 (17:13) thanks to 14 goals by Valeriia Kirdiasheva in Saturday’s second semi-final. Just hours before, Hungary had ended South Korea’s title hopes with a 34:29 (19:12) victory.

The final between Russia and Hungary will be played on Sunday (19 August) at 18:00 hrs local time in the Hala Legionów - home base to VELUX EHF Champions League 2015/16 winners PGE Vive Kielce. The bronze-medal match between Sweden and South Korea is scheduled for 15:30 hrs.

Both matches will be streamed live on the official tournament website.

Russia are having excellent campaign in Kielce

Another title would make Russia the first nation to win this competition three times. Denmark are the only other multiple champions, earning gold in 2006 and 2012.

However, the final promises to be no easy affair for coach Liubov Sidoricheva’s team. A year ago, they played Hungary in the main round of the Women’s 17 EHF EURO - and lost 25:19.

So far, Russia have had an excellent campaign in Kielce. They won each of their group matches by at least a three-goal difference before comfortably beating Tunisia, Denmark and Sweden in the knockout stage.

Against Sweden, Valeriia Maslova opened the scoring in the second minute and Russia remained in the lead for the entire match. At half-time, they enjoyed a solid four-goal lead (17:13).

However, Sweden were still in the race when they trailed by just three goals (21:18) after 44 minutes, but Russia didn’t allow the Scandinavian team any closer as they cruised to a 29:23 victory.

Apart from Kirdiasheva’s stunning contribution of 14 goals, Elena Smirnova scored five times for Russia, while Isabelle Andersson netted seven times for Sweden.

Hungary have been impressive to reach final

While Russia have been very impressive, the same goes for their final opponents.

Hungary also didn’t drop a point in the preliminary round and went on to take big wins over Austria and Spain to reach their first ever semi-final in this age category.

There were no signs of nerves for coach Beata Bohus’ team as they took the lead over South Korea right away. The Asian team levelled for 3:3 after six minutes but they would be playing catch-up for the rest of the match.

At half-time, Hungary were comfortably leading by 19:12 and they never let their opponents back into the match in the second half. They had even extended their advantage to 11 goals (30:19) with 13 minutes left before South Korea gradually reduced to deficit to five (34:29).

Petra Vamos, Csenge Kuczora and Kira Banfai all scored six times for Hungary, while Yun Yejin and Woo Bitna also had six for South Korea.

If Hungary win the final, the under-18 team will repeat the unprecedented success of their country’s under-20 team, which claimed the title as hosts of the Women’s Junior World Championship 2018 last month.

South Korea will have to settle for the bronze-medal match against Sweden. It was the third time that the Asian team reached the semi-finals of this competition, but they are yet to win the title.

Regardless the outcome of the match, Sweden will look back on a great run in the tournament after the Scandinavians only advanced from the preliminary round as the fourth-ranked team in Group B.

Photo: IHF


TEXT: EHF / ew
 
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