The Dutch team is considered as one of the medal contenders at this EHF EURO, but they were shocked right in the first round by Germany. The match started better for the Germans (0-2), even if Tess Wester saved two of the German penalties in the first half. The Dutch machine seemed to start slowly but they took up the rhythm of the game and took the advantage for the first time after 12 minutes (5-4). Six minutes later the difference grew to 9-4 which seemed comfortable for the Dutch team. With five minutes left from the first half, the Orange girls were still 5 goals up but one can never underestimate the spirit of a German team. Germany started a crazy run and two minutes later they were back in the game (12-10). The first half ended with an overtime penalty from Svenja Huber and a narrow Dutch lead (14-13) so the result promised a lot of excitement for the second half.
The beginning of the second half was clearly better for the Dutch girls, their lead was constantly 3-4 goals. After 12 minutes gone from the second period, the German girls managed to level the score once again (20-20), and by a great shot from Kim Naidziniavicius, they took the lead after 30 minutes. The German advantage was not enough for the Netherlands: the Hungarian referee double used the Video Proof System and disqualified Kelly Dulfer with a red card for hitting Naidziniavicius in the face. Tess Wester had a bad day in the Dutch goal while Clara Woltering made some important saves to help her team.
With a little more than 10 minutes left from the match, the German lead was 3 goals for the first time (23-26) and the team of Helle Thomsen was in deep trouble. They were moving faster than the Germans but the team of Michael Biegler was very organized and disciplined in the final minutes. The Germans were very effective from 9 meters while the Netherlands could only rely on individual actions. In the final minutes, the German girls were flying from the boost of self-confidence they collected in the last quarter of the game, while the Netherlands had no chance to turn the match around. The Dutch mistakes didn’t remain unpunished against a well-organized and well-prepared Germany – the Germans took a surprising 30-27 victory over one of the main medal contenders.
EHF EURO 2016 – Group B – 1st round
Netherlands – Germany 27-30 (14-13)
Netherlands: N. Groot 5, L. Abbingh 5(3), D. Bont 4, A. Malestein 3, E. Polman 3, Y. Broch 2, S. van Olphen 2, L. van der Heijden 2, D. Snelder 1
Germany: S. Huber 7(4), S. Lang 4, J. Karolius 4, A. Hubinger 4, E. Bölk 4, K. Naidziniavicius 2, L. Fischer 2, I. Klein 1, A. Loerper 1, K. Wohlbold 1
Penalties: 3/3 ; 4/7
Suspensions: 6 minutes (red card to Dulfer) ; 8 minutes
Player of the match: Nycke Groot (Netherlands)