Romania narrowly win the Carpathian Trophy
Although Hungary and Serbia finished on the same number of points, the hosts triumphed thanks to their better goal difference.
The 2011 tournament of the annual Carpathian Trophy in Romania was intended to prepare the home nation for the upcoming World Championship in Brazil.
For the other three participants, FYR Macedonia, Hungary and Serbia, it was an opportunity to give chances to several new players. For these three teams, their next highlight will be the third and fourth rounds of European Championship qualification in March, 2012.
So, the Romanians won the tournament, but on match day one they suffered a tight defeat against their neighbours from Hungary.
The Hungarians turned the match in the last 10 minutes thanks to a marvelous performance by Zsuzsanna Tomori who scored the amazing amount of 15 goals.
Assistant coach Beáta Siti was very happy about the victory, but said that "Romania´s trainer, Radu Voina, had shuffled his side quite often while trying-out several new players, so the result was of less importance to him."
Romania had no problems in winning their remaining two matches, whilst Hungary, after the victory on Friday, lost on Saturday to a Serbian side that was without its top playmaker, Andrea Lekić, due to a minor injury.
After two straight victories, Serbia suffered a shockingly large defeat on the closing day against Romania to finish third. The large number of technical errors on the Serbian side was the main reason for the loss, whilst Romania easily executed their counter attacks.
Despite only achieving third place, Serbia provided two firsts: the top scorer of the tournament was Jelena Nišavić with 20 goals, whilst their centre-back Kristina Liščević was voted as the best player of the tournament.
FYR Macedonia brought their "B" squad to Romania, and were therefore missing six players from the country’s best handball club, WHC Metalurg. Among those missing were goalkeeper Tanja Andrejeva, left-back Mirjeta Bajramoska, left-winger Dragana Pecevska, and right-back Elena Gjorgijevska.
The results of FYR Macedonia look rather bad on paper, as they lost all of their matches by a significant amount, but this was due to their less-experienced squad.
Hungary´s Siti summed up the Hungarian performance: "We aim to qualify for the European Championship in 2012, and therefore we’re happy with the results. Our goal is to reduce the number of fluctuations in our game plan for the qualification matches in March."
"I think we can easily adjust our defence during the coming months, but it’ll be harder work to fine-tune our attacking," she added.
With two victories and one defeat, the hosts kept the title at home, and president of the Romanian Handball Federation, Cristian Gaţu, showed great satisfaction after the tournament:
"I have seen the national team play so well and with so much lust, and this can only give us hope for the World Championship in Brazil. The objective of the National Team is qualification for the Olympic Games in London. The girls can achieve this in one of two ways: ideally, by winning the world championship title and then going directly to London, or by achieving one of the places 2 to 7 in the ranking, which would ensure a place in the pre-olympic tournament."
Serbia - FYR Macedonia 41:20 (21:9)
Romania - Hungary 33:35 (20:17)
Hungary - Serbia 33:37 (17:22)
Romania - FYR Macedonia 35:16 (13:8)
FYR Macedonia - Hungary 20:31 (11:16)
Romania - Serbia 37:18 (22:8)
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