In the first round, the Swedish girls won against the easiest opponent of the group, Argentina, while South Korea lost to Russia by five after having a seven goals advantage in the first part of the second half. So the match was very important for the Asians: they need every single point to keep their Olympic hopes alive.
The first half was a very equal half between the two sides, with both teams having slight advantages. While the beginning was better for Sweden, the middle period of the first half was won by the fast Asians. With fast attacks and fastbreaks, they were four goals ahead of the Swedish girls in the last ten minutes. However, it didn’t bother the Scandinavians, they learned the Russian lesson and stood up for the last 10 minutes, first they equalized, then took the lead in the dying minutes of the first period. The two right wings, Sunhee Woo and Nathalie Hagman were the two leading names of their teams while the goalkeepers didn’t shine, Sweden took a narrow one-goal lead to the locker room (16-15).
In the beginning of the second half, Korea didn’t give up and didn’t let Sweden go easily, however, the European girls turned to bigger speed and took control over the game. Bella Gulldén came up shining in the middle of the second half while Nathalie Hagman was still fast and accurate and Linnea Torstensson scored some smashers against the tired Koreans. South Korea became powerless for the second half, they couldn’t break through Sweden – they struggled to score against Filippa Idéhn who came up with a great performance in the second half. The second part of the second half was comfortable for the Scandinavian girls as they kept a confident 4-5 goals lead over the Asians. The only question of the last minutes was only the difference between the two teams: Swedish girls could celebrate a three-goal, 31-28 lead and they came very close to reaching the quarterfinals.
Rio 2016 -Women’s Handball Tournament – Group B, 2nd round
South Korea – Sweden 28-31 (15-16)
South Korea: S. Woo 7, H. Sim 6(1), E.H. Ryu 3, Y. Jung 3(1), O. Kim 3, E. Lee 2, S. Choi 2, H. Yoo 1, H.N. Gwon 1
Sweden: N. Hagman 7, I. Gulldén 6(4), L. Torstensson 6, L. Blohm 5, A. Wallén 2, S. Jacobsen 1, J. Alm 1, M. Ek 1, L. Sand 1, J. Roberts 1
Penalties: 2/4 – 4/4
Suspensions: 6 minutes – 10 minutes