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News Details

Date: 7/31/2016

All placement round 5-8 matches will be streamed live and free here. All games at AEGON Arena, Bratislava, all times local.

Sunday 31 July

Placement Match 7/8: Croatia vs Sweden 10:30 hrs

Unfortunately, for Croatia, losing playmaker Matea Pletikosic to stretched ankle ligaments has limited their creativity on court, despite the best efforts of Katarina Mrazovic and Korina Karlovcan.

However, despite a game played at pedestrian pace at times against Hungary, Croatia showed enough to give Sweden a worry.

Whatever happens against Sweden, the final ranking of 7 or 8 for Croatia will be their best-ever at this level, bettering their 10th place in 2014.

"We had a bad start against Hungary,” said Ante Burger, Croatia assistant coach. "The players were tired and therefore slow but the half-time result was good.

“In the second half we defended worse, our goalkeepers played weaker, and moreover, we missed a lot of clear chances. We had problems with injured players, and we had few options to replace them."

For Sweden, they are past winners of the competition back in 2010, so the final ranking will be below their past standards. However, against France, they stayed in touch for the whole game, but a last second lapse in concentration meant a conceded goal which won the game for France.

Sweden's top-scorer is Kristin Thorleifsdottir on 26 strikes as coach Erik Larholm looks again to Carolina Ingesson (04:36 hours on court at Slovakia with eight games played), goalkeeper Rebecca Nilsson (04:48) and Olivia Lofqvist (05:06) to lead his side.

Thea Stankiewicz is also a strong member of his defence, lying second in the over table of defender with 13 intercepts, three steals and one foul caused.

Croatia's top-scorer is Tena Japundza (54 goals) as Croatia coach Ivan Jerkovic asks her (5:54), Korina Karlovcan (05:24) and Ivona Mrden (05:31) to push for one last match.

Placement Match 5/6: Hungary vs France 13:00 hrs

The best position of the Hungarians at any previous U18 world championship has been fifth and they will be hoping that they can equal that with a win against France.

"We played well, yet made some big mistakes,” said Janos Hajdu, Hungary coach after their placement 5-8 first-day win against Croatia. “It was visible that this was our eighth game in a short time, so the players were tired. 

“Still, we have regrets about the quarter-finals as we wanted to get at least to the semi-finals. However, the first four teams deserve to be there and this tournament has a high level.”

For France, they were taken all the way against Sweden, but kept their heads in the last moments to prevail.

"The girls played very disciplined,” said Laurent Puigsegur, France coach. “It is a pity that it happened only now, and not in the previous match but I am satisfied, we will play for 5/6 place, and I think we belong there.”

Soukeina Sagna, the best player of France against Sweden said their final two matches are not only proving to fans that they are one of the world’s best teams, but to the players themselves too.

"We played as a team and we proved to ourselves that we can do it,” she said after the Sweden win. “After our quarter-final defeat we lost motivation a little bit, but fortunately only for a while. 

“Tomorrow we want to win and to finish in the fifth place.”

Whatever the result, the finish means France’s highest position since 2010, when they finished fourth and they will rely on top-scorer Constance Mauny (37 goals) who has played 05:25 hours over eight games, an hour ahead of the next constant French player, Camille Tourigny (04:27).

Hungary rely on tournament top-scorer Bernadett Hornyak for firepower (67 goals) and with her 06:05 hours on court, she is just ahead of Katrin Klujber (05:57), equal with Noemi Hafra (06:05) and behind Noemi Pasztor (06:35) as the most relied-upon players by coach Janos Hajdu.

The match is also notable as a clash between two of the three top-scoring sides at Slovakia 2016 - France are second with 266 goals and Hungary just behind with 263. Korea are top on 267.