Russia, Sweden and France progress in Celje
After Hungary became the first team to qualify for the W19 EHF EURO 2021 semi-finals on Tuesday, Russia, Sweden and France advanced on Wednesday to complete the semi-final line-up.
In group I, Russia’s 28:25 win over Germany sealed their place in the last four. After Russia’s victory in the first group I match on Wednesday, Denmark needed to beat Sweden by at least three goals in order to retain a chance of winning a medal. However, as Denmark only won 25:24, Sweden were able to celebrate progressing despite suffering their first loss of the tournament.
With second place in group II at stake, France fought back from a two-goal half-time deficit against Romania to win 31:27.
Russia vs Germany 28:25 (15:10)
- in the first half, Ekaterina Skivko and Julija Baeva’s back court shots propelled Russia into a 15:7 lead
- Russia’s advantage in the second half fluctuated between three and six goals as Germany, led in attack by Maj Rika Nielsen and Nina Engel, tried to earn their first main round points
- due to their positive goal difference (+1) in matches played against Denmark and Sweden, the result confirmed Russia’s place in the semi-finals
Sweden vs Denmark 24:25 (12:15)
- Denmark appeared on course for the semi-finals when they led 14:7 in the 25th minute, but Tyra Axner’s four goals for Sweden in the last six minutes of the half turned the tide
- although goalkeeper Mathilde Bengtson made 16 saves for Denmark, eight more than Sweden's goalkeepers, her side only won by one goal
- Sweden qualified for the semi-finals ahead of Denmark due to their superior goal difference in matches played between the three teams tied on four points: Russia, Sweden and Denmark
Romania vs France 27:31 (14:12)
- neither side had more than a one-goal lead in the first half until Corina Elena Lupei put Romania in front 14:12 just before the buzzer
- after equalising at 17:17 in the 36th minute, France did not fall behind again in the match. Lena Grandveau’s three goals in the final 10 minutes helped guide France to victory
- France will face Russia in the semi-finals on Friday, while Romania will meet Germany in the 5-8 cross matches
Hungary vs Croatia 35:24 (16:9)
- Hungary scored eight of their last nine shots in the first half – extending their lead from 8:6 in the 21st minute to 16:9 after 30 minutes
- Hungary’s Greta Juhasz, who scored six goals in the second half, recorded her highest total of the championship
- Hungary will play against Sweden in the semi-finals on Friday, while Croatia will face Denmark in the 5-8 cross matches
Czech Republic vs Austria 27:32 (12:14)
- after four successive defeats, Austria claimed their first win of the tournament. This was the Czech Republic's first loss in a match that counted towards the intermediate round standings
- three players scored 10 or more goals in the match: Charlotte Cholevová scored 10 goals for the Czech Republic, while for Austria Kristina Dramac netted 12 times and Katarina Pandza scored 11 goals
- Czech Republic will meet Slovakia in the 9-12 cross matches; Austria will face Slovenia in the 13-16 cross matches
Slovakia vs Slovenia 31:23 (17:15)
- Slovenia made the better start and led 9:6 after 14 minutes, but Barbora Lancz’s five goals in the first half ensured that Slovakia were ahead at the break
- when Viktoria Györiova scored in the 46th minute, Slovakia's lead stood at eight goals (27:19) for the first time
- as Slovakia will play in the 9-12 cross matches, they cannot finish any lower than twelfth place
Norway vs Montenegro 31:23 (16:12)
- Norway goalkeeper Johanna Fossum produced a match-winning performance, making 17 saves at a 44 per cent efficiency rate
- Norway's 5:0 run from 17:14 to 22:14 was immediately countered by a 5:0 run from Montenegro, but Norway's lead in the second half never fell below three goals
- due to Portugal's withdrawal from the tournament, Montenegro have no further matches. Norway will meet Switzerland in the 9-12 cross matches
During the half-time break I told my players to stay focused as our game plan was good. We only did a few mistakes and I knew if we didn't make these mistakes in the second half, we could win the game. And that’s exactly what happened.