With the German victory against Poland, the Netherlands’ place was also guaranteed in the Main Round so the pressure was less on the shoulders of the team of Helle Thomsen. France has been playing convincingly so far, winning both of their matches. In the beginning of their third match, they continued this way: the first half was all about France. Laura Glauser was fantastic in the French goal and the Dutch team struggled in almost every aspect of the game: they only scored 4 goals in the first 25 minutes while conceded 10, so the situation seemed bad for Helle Thomsen’s team. The French team was clearly better in the first half so the 12-7 French lead was well deserved.
Even though the French team scored the first goal of the second half, this period was completely the opposite of the first half. The Netherlands started to come closer to France and Tess Wester’s performance improved a lot for the second period. In the mentally important moments, it was always the Netherlands who managed to score: the “flying Dutch” was on fire, while France struggled the same way as the orange girls did in the first half. With a penalty shot from Maura Visser, the Netherlands equalized in the 48th minute (15-15), and a minute later, France was one goal behind. From this moment on, the Netherlands didn’t give the match away. Even though the Frenchwomen equalized twice in the last 10 minutes, there was always a Dutch answer and the final French attack – and with it, the last French chance for a point was wasted: Netherlands won 18-17 with a fantastic comeback, allowing only 5 French goals in the second half. France, the Netherlands and Germany will all take two points to the Main Round.
EHF EURO 2016 – Group B – 3rd round
Netherlands – France 18-17 (7-12)
Netherlands: M. Visser 5(2), N. Groot 4, L. van der Heijden 3, E. Polman 2, D. Bont 1, D. Snelder 1, L. Knippenborg 1, M. Goos 1
France: E. Nze Minko 5, A. Lacrabere 4(1), G. Niombla 3, S. Dembele 2, L. Landre 1, C. Ayglon Saurina 1, L. Flippes 1
Penalties: 2/2 ; 1/1
Suspensions: 4 minutes ; 6 minutes
Player of the match: Nycke Groot (NED)