The first matches of the IHF Women’s World Championship qualification round were played on Friday: eight teams battled to come closer to the desired place at the big tournament. Let’s see the results.
Russia – Poland 31-20 (15-14)
Best scorers for Russia: D. Samokhina 9, D. Dmitrieva 7, L. Postnova 4
Best scorers for Poland: K. Achruk 5, M. Gega, K. Grzyb, K. Janiszewska, M. Kobylinska 3-3
Russia met Poland in one of the most promising duels of the qualification round and took an easy victory at home so the Russians have one foot already in Germany. In the first half, Russia had a tough time against the Polish girls but in the second half, there was no mercy from the Olympic champions. Poland would need a miracle to turn this duel around.
Ukraine – Spain 24-24 (10-16)
Best scorers for Ukraine: V. Borshchenko 9, L. Gorilska, O. Perederiy, A. Redka 3-3
Best scorers for Spain: A. Cabral Barbosa, C. Martín 5-5, M. Aguilar 3
Spain faced Ukraine in Sumy, Ukraine and had a comfortable 6-goal lead at halftime. However, Ukraine started the second half on fire and were back in the game right from the first minutes of the second period. They even had the lead in the last minutes, but Spain managed to equalize and with two completely opposite half times, the two teams finished undecided.
Montenegro – Belarus 33-26 (12-15)
Best scorers for Montenegro: D. Ujkic, D. Jaukovic 9-9, M. Mehmedovic, M. Raicevic 5-5
Best scorers for Belarus: A. Mazgo 5, K. Silitskaya 4
Montenegro had a tough start against Belarus in Bar, Montenegro as the Belorussian team was dominating the first half, taking a deserved 3-goal lead to the locker room. The second half was a completely different story, as in the match between Ukraine and Spain: Montenegro turned to a higher speed and completely dominated the second half, taking a confident, seven-goal victory. Montenegro’s victory means they are close to qualifying for the main event but the first half is a sign that they will need to be careful in the return match.
Romania – Austria 34-29 (17-16)
Best scorers for Romania: C. Neagu, V. Ardean Elisei 7-7, G. Perianu 6
Best scorers for Austria: P. Kovács 10, S. Frey 9
Romania and Austria played a surprisingly close first half as the two teams were going side by side during most of the first half. The Austrians even took the lead in some moments of the game, but Romania also raised the level for the second half and left the Austrians slowly behind. Even though the two teams turned into the last 10 minutes with just 2 goals home advantage, the Romanians secured their victory in the “money time” and the five-goal victory means they are also closer to the world championship. However, the team of the fresh CL-winner Ambros Martín still can’t completely sit back.