VIDEO REPORT: The final and the bronze medal match at the 2013 Women's European Beach Handball Championships go down to the wire, with Hungary and Norway claiming victories respectively
Hungary claim women's gold after shoot-out victory
The 2,000 fans present at the 2013 European Beach Handball Championship women's final could not have asked for a more exciting match.
Hungary claimed gold after a nerve-wracking 2:1 shoot-out victory against Denmark, while earlier Norway had won bronze against Ukraine also after shoot-out.
Golden goal and sudden death shoot-out
The Danish hosts had the better start into the final, enjoying a 12:8 lead after four minutes which was in particular due to some great saves of Danish goalkeeper Hanne Frandsen.
With the score at 14:10 in favour of Denmark, Hungary's coach Janos Groz took a timeout, and the changes he made proved successful.
His team levelled the match at 14:14 and specialist Krisztina Sido granted Hungary their first lead when she scored to make it 18:16.
But Denmark scored the equaliser which took the first set to golden goal, which Denmark scored as well.
Hungary then came out stronger in the second set, leading 10:6 after four minutes.
They benefitted from some smaller Danish mistakes at this stage of the plot and managed to extend the lead.
At 16:12 in favour of Hungary Denmark took a timeout, but it was Hungary that continued to score.
By starting to score one point goals, they not only extented their lead, but also ate up valuable time, and in the end they took the second set 21:16.
In the shoot-out that followed the first five players from both teams scored. The shoot-out went into sudden death, but still Bozsanna Fekete for Hungary and Line Kristensen showed nerves of steel and scored both.
Fruzsina Kretz gave Hungary the lead once again, while the tragic role in this match went to Emma Mogensen whose shot did not find the back of the net, but saw the Hungarian players running onto the court, celebrating the gold.
For Denmark it was the second consecutive European final they lost, following a defeat at the hands of Croatia two years ago in Umag.
Norway win bronze in shoot-out
Norway took an early lead in the first half of the bronze medal match against Ukraine, backed by some good saves of goalkeeper Kjersti Beck.
Ukraine managad to level the match at 14:14, before Iryna Glibko, who went on scoring 18 points overall, granted Ukraine their first lead of the match at 17:15.
With 90 seconds left on the clock Ukraine defended this lead and won the first half.
In the second half both teams played on eye level for the first five minutes, the score standing at 12-all.
When Ukraines's Valeriya Zorya was red carded following her second personal in the 17th minute, Norway pulled away to 20:16 lead, which they had extended to 24:20 when the final whistle was blown.
In the shoot-out that followed Alla Sheiko and Olga Laiuk missed Ukraine's first two attempts, while Norway scored twice, granting themselves with a 3:0 lead.
When Karmilla Ersek Roed missed with the third attempt, Ukraine's hopes were shortly raised, before Norway's specialist Tonje Klevstad found the back of the net with the fourth and send her teammates into a bronze medal frenzy.
Placement matches and consolation round
Earlier in the day the placement matches for ranks five to eight were played.
Italy beat Russia 2:0 to come fifth, while Spain beat Turkey 2:0 to claim seventh rank.
The consolation round, which determined ranks 9 to 13 for teams that did not make the main round, already concluded on Saturday (14 July).
Croatia came first ahead of Switzerland, Greece, Poland and Sweden.
The entire results overview of the 2013 Women's Beach Handball European Championships can be viewed here
TEXT: EHF / ts
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