Russia arrived to Sweden with an Olympic gold medal in their pockets. Even though the team changed in more positions since summer, the Olympic gold put an extra pressure on Evgeny Trefilov’s team and their group at this year’s EURO is anything but easy. The Russian team started their campaign against Croatia in Group D. Despite the better start from the Balkan team, the first half was about the Russians. The Olympic champions built up their advantage slowly but confidently until the end of the first half (16-13). The beginning of the second period was clearly better for the Russians and the match seemed to be decided (23-15). Before everybody wrote the two points to the Russian girls, Croatia started to reduce the difference and with 10 minutes left, the game was wide open again (25-23). This might have rang the alarm for Trefilov’s team as in the final 10 minutes, the Russian raised their level once again and concentrated better to survive the Croatian scare. Russia won confidently, 32-26.
EHF EURO 2016 – Group D – 1st round
Russia – Croatia 32-26 (16-13)
Russia: V. Bobrovnikova 6, V. Zhilinskayte 6(6), A. Vyakhireva 5, A. Sen 3, A. Skorobogatchenko 3, K. Kozhokar 2, K. Sabirova 2, M. Sudakova 2, D. Dmitrieva 2, L. Postnova 1
Croatia: A. Penezic 8, V. Milanovic-Litre 6, Z. Maric 4, S. Basic 2(2), N. Jankovic 2, A. Covic 2, C. Micijevic 1, E. Nemaskalo 1
Penalties: 6/6 ; 2/3
Suspensions: 12 minutes ; 18 minutes
Player of the match: Vladlena Bobrovnikova (RUS)