Portugal’s second win ends Slovak hopes
Slovakia had hoped for a major change, signing experienced Spaniard Jorge Duenas as the new women’s team coach - but even he could not change everything in one week. After the second defeat against Portugal within four days, the Slovaks are out of the race for an EHF EURO 2022 ticket, still on zero points. On the other hand, the Portuguese side underlined their upswing in ambitions with a clear improvement after the break, allowing the hosts to score only seven goals. Having four points in their account now, Portugal are only two points each below Hungary and Spain, their opponents in rounds 5 and 6.
Slovakia vs Portugal 21:23 (14:12)
- after the 21:24 in the reverse fixture on Thursday, Slovakia were under huge pressure, but managed to stay ahead in the first half
- mainly goalkeeper Adriana Medvedova (13 saves in total) was the key for the 14:12 half time lead of the hosts
- as Portugal improved in defence and goalkeeper Isabel Gois stood like a wall, the hosts had problems scoring, netting only three times in the first 20 minutes of the second half
- the consequence was Portugal’s first lead in the whole match, 18:17, in minute 46, which they extended to 20:17 - and kept until the end
- Nikoletta Trunkova and Maria Ines da Silva Perreira were best scorers with six goals each
Another historic day for Portugal
It was 21 March 2012, it was a 30:18 win at Greece - and it was Portugal’s last away victory in the final qualification round for a Women’s EHF EURO. Ten years later, Portugal again returned home from an away much with two points after winning 23:21 at Slovakia. Already their 24:21 on home ground on Thursday was historic, as it ended a six-year wait for another victory. Portugal now have four points on their account after four rounds - and they can hope for their first EHF EURO ticket since 2008, but they still need to beat Spain and Hungary in the upcoming matches.