Since the Netherlands lost to Germany in the first round, they have shown a constantly improving performance throughout the whole tournament. Serbia was going quite the opposite way: they won their first two matches, then drew with the hosts Sweden and lost their first Main Round match against Germany. Today, it was the Netherlands who had the chances on their side. The match started with a crazy run, none of the teams wanted to waste too much time on long attacks. Serbia lost their captain Katarina Krpez Slezak in the first minutes, and the Netherlands was the team who had the first significant lead and the gap was constantly growing between the two sides. After 22 minutes, the Dutch team had 5 goals more on their side (7-12). The Orange girls were unbeatable on fast breaks as usual, and the Serbians couldn’t keep the rhythm. The Serbs were once again making too many mistakes and they weren’t helped by a good goalkeeper performance either. The Netherlands managed to keep the 5 goals difference for the halftime break (12-17).
In the beginning of the second half, Serbia had once chance: to surprise the Netherlands right in the beginning. They started a lot better, with some great saves by Marija Colic and good shots from the backcourt. After the Netherlands came back to their rhythm, there was no chance for Serbia once again. Even though the Serbs came up to 3 goals more times, that was the maximum they could reach in this match. The Dutch team was playing fast and confident so the difference grew from time to time. After 50 minutes played, the gap grew to 8 goals (22-30) for the first time in the game. This was the final difference between the two sides as well: Netherlands won 35-27 and jumped to the top of the group, making one more step towards the semifinal.
EHF EURO 2016 – Main Round Group II – Round 2
Serbia – Netherlands 27-35 (12-17)
Serbia: J. Stoiljkovic 8(2), T. Georgijev 4, S. Radosavljevic 4, M. Dmitrovic 3, A. Janjusevic 3, K. Krpez Slezak 1, J. Kovacevic 1, S. Pop-Lazic 1, Z. Nikolic 1, M. Petrovic 1
Netherlands: Y. Broch 6, L. Abbingh 6(2), A. Malestein 5, E. Polman 4, S. van Olphen 3, J. Kramer 2(1), D. Bont 2, D. Snelder 2, M. Visser 2(1), K. Dulfer 1, L. Knippenborg 1, L. van der Heijden 1
Penalties: 2/3 ; 4/4
Suspensions: 4 minutes ; 8 minutes
Player of the match: Angela Malestein (NED)