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Date: 8/25/2012

Like in 2006, when they became first ever world champion in this age category, the Danish girls have reached the final of the IV Women’s Youth World Championship in Montenegro by beating Romania in the semi. The Scandinavians surprisingly did not have to cross a high hurdle against their opponent like six years ago, when they needed an extra time to go for gold. After an equal starting period the Danes easily went away in Bar on Saturday – and caused a Romanian disaster by the final score of 39:28. The Danish final opponent will be decided later-on in the second semi Russia vs. Norway, Romania will face the loser of this game on Sunday in the duel for the bronze medal.

Semifinal 1: Romania – Denmark 28:39 (15:19)

Cheered by a big number of red and white dressed spectators, the Danish girls made their final dream come true, while the Romanians cried bitter tears.  Like one year ago at the European U17 championship, “Danish dynamite” made their way to a final, while Romania again missed the gold medals match in a younger age competition.

On the field the Romanians did not continue their determination, with which they had sung their anthem, in the first half. After a 6:3 for Romania and a Danish time-out, the Scandinavians improved, while their opponent did not show their usual performing level in defence. The Danes permanently found their ways to go through, especially their back court shooters did not have big problems to score. Despite a brilliant performance of their goalkeeper Denisa Dedu, Romania was in a full downswing, giving the lead from their hands at 10:10, while Denmark even got away to four goals at the break, leaving the Romanians behind with less ideas to return on the winner’s way.

And it became even worse for the Romanians, who had not only been able to control their defence problems, but in the starting period could nearly not score against the superb Danish goalkeeper Christina Elm. Her saves boosted her team in attack, extending the margin to seven goals, when Nadia Offendal stroke for the 24:17 in minute 35.

Though they changed their goalkeeper and their defence tactics to a more offensive one, Romania could not break the spell. Denmark scored a Swiss watch, played unstoppable and goalkeeper Elm still shut up her shop. Being still below with seven goals at 21:28 Romanian coach Draganescu took his time-out – but nothing changed. His girls started to resign, while the Danes punished every missed shot or failed pass of their opponents by counter-attacks. Latest the semifinal, which became one-sided after the break, was decided, when Mathilde Storgaard hit the net for the first double-figured result at 33:23. The resistance of the Romanians had been broken before, while on the other hand the big number of spectators gave standing ovations for their team already three minutes before the final buzzer.

Annika Meyer with eight goals by eight attempts and Mette Tranborg (9 goals) were the Danish top scorers, while Pricopi and Safta scored five times each for Romania.


Statement after the match:

Heine Eriksen, Danish head coach:  “Our attacking performance was the key to success as well as our defence in the second half, aside our goalkeeper Christina Elm played brilliant. I never had expected such a clear result. One saw that Romania stood strong in the very beginning. In my early time-out when we were down I just said to the players that they should not panic and remain calm, as we played well in attack. This is what they did. Now it really don’t matter what team we face in the final. Norway and Russia are both very strong opponents.”