Two winners of the first round met in the duel between Russia and France: Russia beat South Korea with a big comeback, while France defeated the Netherlands.
The two teams started side by side, but for the middle of the first half the Russians built up a three-goal advantage. Two French players were suspended for 2 minutes, however, Evgeny Trefilov’s girls couldn’t use their big advantage: Amandine Leynaud made a great save and the excellent Alexandra Lacrabere scored a crucial goal (7-8) and the equalizer a minute later. The first half was a one-woman-show for the French team, Russia couldn’t control Lacrabere. After the Frenchwomen equalized, they couldn’t keep their momentum to take the lead, Russia won the remaining minutes 7-3 to win the first half 15-10. Out of the 10 French goals, 6 were scored by Alexandra Lacrabere and 3 by Allison Pineau.
France started better in the second half, but the players of Olivier Krumbholz couldn’t come back closer than three goals. Russia kept them in a comfortable distance until the middle of the second half, then the Frenchwomen scored three goals in a row to be only one goal behind (20-21). There was always a player on the Russian side to help their team survive the crucial moments so France couldn’t make one more step to give themselves a chance to turn the match around. Alexandra Lacrabere wasn’t enough on her own to outscore Russia so the Trefilov-girls survived the last French attacks too. The last seconds of the match also contained excitement as the French girls closed the gap to one goal, but they didn’t have time to lead a last attack to equalize.
Rio 2016 – Women’s Handball Tournament – Group B, 2nd round
France – Russia 25-26 (10-15)
France: A. Lacrabere 11(3), S. Dembele 6, A. Pineau 5(1), C. Bulleux 1, E. Nze Minko 1, G. Niombla 1
Russia: P. Kuznetsova 6, M. Sudakova 4, A. Vyakhireva 4(4), I. Bliznova 3(1), D. Dmitrieva 2, O. Akopian 2, V. Bobrovnikova 2, E. Ilina 1, A. Sen 1, M. Petrova 1
Penalties: 4/7 – 5/5
Suspensions: 12 minutes – 8 minutes