Netherlands complete perfect week in Georgia
In a final that was only truly decided in the last 10 minutes, the Netherlands clinched the Women's 17 EHF Championship title in Georgia with a 25:19 win against Serbia.
Meanwhile, in the bronze medal match, the Faroe Islands won a high-scoring encounter against Ukraine, 35:27.
- the Netherlands claimed the title in Tbilisi with their fifth win from five matches played on court
- Alieke Van Maurik (eight goals) top-scored for the Netherlands, while Ana Petrovic netted six times for Serbia
- Bianca Schanssema made 10 saves for the Netherlands and finished with a save efficiency of 34 per cent
The Netherlands could not have wished for a better start to the final of the W17 EHF Championship in Georgia. With two goals apiece from Alieke Van Maurik and Jalisha Loy, the Netherlands raced into a 5:0 lead after eight minutes.
The defensive side of the ledger remained healthy for the Netherlands in the first half, as goalkeeper Bianca Schanssema frequently denied Serbia when called upon, but a period of almost nine minutes without a goal for the Netherlands saw Serbia close to the gap to just two goals at half-time.
Aleksandra Vasic, who scored three times for Serbia in the first half, levelled the score at 10:10 in the 36th minute. Although the Netherlands held a four-goal lead in the 46th minute, 18:14, Serbia responded again and only trailed by one goal with seven minutes left.
The Netherlands needed a strong finish to claim the title – and they produced it. Donna Bakker's fast break goal in the 56th minute restored a four-goal cushion, 22:18, and when Alieke Van Maurik converted a penalty that increased the lead to 24:19 with less than two minutes remaining, Dutch celebrations were underway on the bench.
BRONZE MEDAL MATCH
Faroe Islands vs Ukraine 35:27 (15:13)
- despite Valeriia Nesterenko scoring 13 goals for Ukraine, the Faroe Islands were comfortable winners of the bronze medal match
- Karin Egholm scored eight goals for the Faroe Islands and was named as her side's best player
- Lukka Arge also scored eight goals for the Faroe Islands – with seven of them coming from penalties
In the first seven minutes of the bronze medal match in Tiblisi, the Faroe Islands only had one name on the scoresheet: right wing Karin Egholm. However, with Egholm scoring three goals in that timeframe, the Faroe Islands took an early two-goal lead, 3:1. When Egholm added her fourth of the match in the 10th minute, her side’s advantage stood at five goals (6:1).
After Ukraine called a much-needed timeout, centre back Valeriia Nesterenko inspired their revival. Nesterenko’s total of eight goals from nine shots in the first half ensured that the half-time deficit was only two goals.
In contrast to the first half, the Faroe Islands had five different players score their first six goals of the second half. When Lea Mohr raced away on the fast break in the 45th minute to score her third goal of the game, the Faroe Islands again had a five-goal lead (21:16).
Although Nesterenko added four more goals to her tally in the last 15 minutes, Lukka Arge's faultless display from the seven-metre line ensured that the Faroe Islands cruised home to victory.
Placement matches 5-8
Estonia vs Italy 12:37 (8:17)
Luxembourg vs Georgia 27:28 (11:13)
3rd Faroe Islands
*Withdrew from the tournament due to Covid-19 cases
Goalkeeper: Anja Cvetkovic (SRB)
Left wing: Natasa Cetkovic (SRB)
Left back: Jalisha Loy (NED)
Centre back: Maria Palsdottir Nolsoy (FAR)
Line player: Romee Maarschalkerweerd (NED)
Right back: Milica Acimovic (SRB)
Right wing: Karin Egholm (FAR)
Top scorer: Arge Lukka (FAR) & Valeriia Nesterenko (UKR) - 33 goals
Best defender: Aurora Gislimberti (ITA)
MVP: Jalisha Loy (NED)