European Championship, women
Group A: Hungary, Spain, Russia, Poland
Russia – Poland 26 -29 (11 -13)
Russia: Sedoykina, Sidorova (GK) – Kuznetcova 2 , Sen 1 , Uskova 3 , Bobrovnikova , Davydenko 1 , Makeeva , Zhilinskayte, Marennikova, Punko 7 , Bliznova 7, Dmi
Poland: Gapska, Prudzienica (GK) – Stachowska , Niedzwiedz 3 , Siodmiak 4 , Gega , Kocela 1 , Gryzb 2, Kudlacz 9 , Janiszewszka, Pielesz , Zych, Drabik , Zalewska 1 , Wojtas 8 , Kulwinska 1
Exciting game, with Russian lead, 5 – 3, 6 – 4 at the beginning, Poland fighting back, equalizing and overturning the result, 7 – 7, 7 – 8, 9 -11, 11- 13 before the break. Polish girls led by Karolina Kudlacz has made a good first half, putting huge pressure on Russia.
The second half started with Russian scoring, but Poland managed to keep the lead, 13 – 15, 14 – 16, 17 – 18,. Russia managed to get the draw at 18 -18, and take the lead, 20 – 19, 21- 20. Balanced and close game where both teams are willing to take the chances, being aware of the fact that the match is for life or death, the winner is in the Main Round, the looser goes home.
Russia was in lead by two, 24-22, but Kim Rasmussen’s team managed to level the game at 24-24, Poland got a penalty, Kudlacz scored for new lead, 24 – 25.
Trefilov’s timeout two minutes before the final whistle did not helped Russian girls, and Alina Wojtas netted three times in the dying minutes sending Poland to the Main Round of the competition.
Final result: 26 -29.
Best players of the match: Jana Uskova(RUS) and Karolina Kudlacz (POL)
Statements after the match:
Evgenii Trefilov (RUS) – coach
About his team’s performance:
“In the second half our goalkeepers didn’t help the team. They even didn’t touch the ball. We didn’t use fast breaks. If we converted them, the game would have had another score.”
ABout Alina Wojtas (POL) and her goals:
“Wojtas just killed us with her goals. In other games she wouldn’t score any of them, but we had too many problems.”
Aboutfuture of the Russian team:
“I consider that we have to use only players, who play in the Russian league. It will help me to have them around all the time. No foreign player would help us in future. It’s time for young players.
“We must use them in near future. Unfortunately, in last years we are losing our position both in the club and the national team handball. I can’t say that foreign players were bad on this tournament, but I expected more. A good result can come only with people who really want it.”
Monika Stachowska – line player
About her team’s victory:
“I said after the previous match that this would be the game of our life and that’s what it was. We fought and we did everything that is possible. You can’t imagine how happy that I am now.”
About her red card:
“The referees did their job, but… Well, it doesn’t matter now. It’s not the moment to speak about this.”
About the atmosphere in the arena:
“Thanks, thanks and so many thanks to all the Polish supporters and also so many thanks to the Hungarians. They were the 8th player today. We literally were one more player today and this was so important to win the match.”
“We knew that this match was our last chance, it was a game with a lot of up and downs, I can imagine what a match was to watch, but my team managed to keep calm, to change defense and control the las part of the match. When defense is working like this, than you don’t have so many problems in attack either, so our offensive play worked also smoothly.
It was a hard game, with two referees who souldn’t be here, or who should understand the meaning of such a match and to not destroy it with suspensions for every small touches, but finally we managed to win, we are in the Main Round, every upcoming game is a new one, we will do everything to get more points against every team, and we are determined to make some new surprises.”
Alina Wojtas (POL)-leftback:
“It was a very hard game, we all knew that this the last chance to qualify to the Main Round, that we must win it.
We played a very good defense against Russia and I mean that it was the key of the success today.
Right now I am so happy, I am looking forward to the next matches in the Main Round.”