In Group C, former world champions Brazil met Japan in the first round. The Asian teams are well-known for their unusual style of playing and in the past, they have caused some trouble to the bigger teams, and this time it wasn’t any different. Japan entered the game very well and in the first minutes, Brazil was only able to score from penalties. 10 minutes passed to see the first Brazilian field goal by Eduarda Amorim. At that time, Japan was already in front by 3 goals. It wasn’t only the start that was slow for the former world champions, the South Americans found themselves seven goals behind entering the last 5 minutes of the half – Japan was playing a great handball with speed, momentum and confidence. In the 20th minute, Mayssa Pessoa was replaced by Barbara Arenhart in the Brazilian goal, and this was decisive for the rest of the half. Arenhart entered the game with some great saves to give her team a chance for decreasing the difference. In the last five minutes of the half, four Brazilian goals remained unanswered by the Asians and this gave hopes for the South Americans for a turnaround in the second half (12-15).
In the second half, the Brazilians tried everything to level the score and to even turn it around, but the Japanese girls didn’t give the points away easily. They always found a goal to put themselves in a better position and as the time went by, the Brazilian chances were smaller to take both points. The last minute of the match started with a Brazilian goal against empty goal to level the score 28-28 for the first time after 0-0. A save from Barbara Arenhart gave the 2013 winners the chance to win the match and Eduarda Amorim scored the winner – however, the Bonaventura twins declared it to be after the final whistle so the two teams shared the points after tense situations after the end of the match (28-28).
IHF Women’s Handball World Championship – Group C – Round 1
Brazil – Japan 28-28 (12-15)
Brazil: A.P. Rodrigues 11(5), E. Amorim 8, S. Rocha 3, D. da Rocha 2, T. Araujo 2, J. Quintino 1, P. Machado 1
Japan: N. Hara 7(6), Y. Sunami 6, A. Matsumura 4, A. Ikehara 4, A. Yokoshima 2, S. Nagata 2, A. Fujita 1, S. Shiota 1, K. Sunami 1
Penalties: 7/5 ; 6/6
Suspensions: 12 minutes ; 6 minutes
Player of the match: Eduarda Amorim (BRA)