Shock defeat against Netherlands costs Russia the berth at the World Championship, while France and Germany booked their tickets for the final tournament in Serbia
Russia miss out on Women's World Championship
A shocking 33:21 home defeat against Netherlands on Sunday (9 June) means that Russia will miss out on the Women´s World Championship for the first time since 1973.
France, another favourite, withstood the pressure after their home draw against Croatia last week and booked their ticket with a 30:26 away win, while Germany finished the job they started with their eight-goal home win against Ukraine in the first leg , by also winning the second leg.
Russia vs. Netherlands 21:33 (10:11) / Aggregate result 48:59 / First leg 27:26 (in favour of Russia)
After having trailed for most of the first leg before scraping home a narrow one-goal-gap victory one week ago, Russia seemed to have overcome the worst already in their efforts to qualify for the World Championship.
And as they started the return match in Rostov on Don by taking a 3:0 lead after four minutes, the road to Serbia seemed to be widening even more for them.
Soon, however, the hosts found themselves trailing 3:4, and they never got back in the lead again. Instead, Netherlands were leading by one or two goals for most of the first half, which they ended by being ahead by one goal.
The second half then turned out to be one long humiliation of Russia, as the visitors kept extending their lead which was at its highest at 33:20 in the last minute.
Seconds later the sensation was a fact. Russia will miss the World Championship for the first time since 1973.
Ukraine vs. Germany 22:25 (10:11) Aggregate 38:49. First leg 24:16 (in favour of Germany)
Germany suffered a bit of a shock at the beginning of the match in Kiev, as Ukraine got ahead quickly woth 4:1 while Germany received some early two-minute suspensions.
However, the team of Danish coach Heine Jensen soon got over the stumbling start, and once they were back at full strength they scored five goals in succession for 6:4 lead.
Apart from when the score stood at 9:8 for the hosts, Germany never fell behind again, and their one goal lead at half-time was steadily extended after the break.
The three goal distance at the end – resulting in an overall German aggregate win of plus 11 goels was more than enough for the team to book the tickets to Serbia.
Croatia vs. France 26:30 (12:13) Aggregate 44:48. First leg 18:18
The French team had their back up against the wall after the draw in the first match at home, but in the return match in Umag on Sunday evening the team of experienced Oliver Krumbholz managed to avoid missing the World Championship for the first time since 1997.
After being up witj one goal at half-time, the French managed to take home a four-goal win from Croatia, which also secured them their berth at thie final tournament.
With those results, Spain, Romania, Czech Repubic, Poland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany and France will be joining Montenegro, Norway, Hungary and Serbia as the 12 European representatives at the 2013 Women's World Championship.
The draw for the final tournament will take place in the City Hall of Belgrade on Saturday (15 June) at 11.30 hrs local time.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
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