In the opening match of their Main Round campaign, the Olympic champions of 2016, Russia met Serbia in Nantes. The match was postponed to Sunday from Saturday due to political reasons, so the teams had some days off before the match. The two sides went hand in hand during the most of the first half, but after 20 minutes passed, Russia managed to open up the gap for the first time in the match: from 9-9, they went to 9-14 in less than 5 minutes as the Serbians were unable to score. The current top scorer of the tournament, Katarina Krpez Slezak broke the curse for the Serbians, and the difference decreased to 3 goals until the halftime whistle, however, the Russians were still comfortably ahead (13-16).
In the beginning of the second half, Serbia started a comeback and came up to 16-18 and when the Russians missed a penalty shot, there seemed to be a slight chance for the Balkan team to come back even closer on their opponent. However, it was the Olympic champions that made the next step and left the opponent behind: after 45 minutes played, the difference grew to 6 goals (20-26) and the rest of the match was more comfortable for Evgeny Trefilov’s team. Helped by some great performances, mostly from Daria Dmitrieva and Anna Vyakhireva, Russia took the two points comfortably and confidently (25-29) and has a good chance to continue in the semifinals.
EHF EURO – Main Round Group I – 1st round
Serbia – Russia 25-29 (13-16)
Serbia: K. Krpez Slezak 7(3), J. Stoiljkovic 5, D. Cvijic 2, D. Radojevic 2, J. Lavko 2(1), A. Lekic 2, D. Stevin 2, S. Radosavljevic 1, T. Radojevic 1, S. Pop-Lazic 1
Russia: D. Dmitrieva 7, A. Vyakhireva 6(1), I. Managarova 4, M. Sudakova 3, A. Sen 3, E. Malashenko 2, P. Kuznetsova 2, Y. Frolova 1, D. Samokhina 1
Penalties: 4/6 ; 1/3
Suspensions: 4 minutes ; 10 minutes
Player of the match: Anna Vyakhireva (Russia)