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Date: 12/14/2007

Four European teams played for places 9 to 12 on Friday evening - two deciding matches also for the qualifying tournaments for Beijing 2008 Olympics. Croatia finished ninth after overcoming Spain. And Poland beat FYRO Macedonia in the placement match 11/12, raising hopes now that if things are turning out well, they could grab a spot in the qualifying tournament.

Placement match (11/12)
FYRO Macedonia - Poland 31:33 (17:14)

In the Eastern European duel Poland had the better end in a tight match, in which Macedonia was the predominant side in the beginning. Poland missed key players Kudlacz and Wolska, suffering from injuries, so Kudlacz was not able to play a record match against Macedonia like last year in Sweden, when she scored 17 times in 60 minutes. With this duo sidelined, Poland had difficulties in the opening phase. Especially Macedonian top scorer Natalija Todorovska (11 goals in total and honoured as best player of the match) contributed six goals in the first half. Even a Polish time-out at the score of 1:5 couldn't stop the team from the Balkan Region, which extended the lead to 12:6 before Poland switched its new strategy now featuring Klaudia Pielesz, who scored six times in ten minutes and kept Poland on track. In the second half, the Polish ladies improved to equalise for the first time to 18:18. Then the match was narrow until 30:30, before three consecutive goals brought Poland place 11 in the final ranking. Their best scorer was Dorota Malczewska with seven goals.

Placement match (9/10)
Croatia - Spain 30:25 (18:9)

The Croatian side made light work of Spain, as the ladies from the Iberian Peninsula had lost too much power in this tournament. Croatia profited from a good first half to bring home and dry a comfortable lead. A shot efficiency merely 27% in the first half made it impossible for Spain to reach a better result. Croatia made a good performance, especially from minute 14 to 29 when they scored a series of 10:1 from 8:7 to 18:8. Croatia's top scorer Svitlana Pasicnik (who obtained the adidas present as best player of the match) hit the Spanish goal five times in the first 30 minutes. But the Iberians did not want to return home in complete disaster and fought hard in second half. They caught up to a difference of five or six goals, but as the Croatians did not lose their concentration, the Spaniards had never been left the slightest chance to win, as the Croatians had always the right answer in the offence. Best scorers were Pasicnik for Croatia with six goals and Isabel Ortuno and Marta Mangue for Spain with seven goals each.


Final ranking:

9. Croatia
10. Spain
11. Poland
12. Macedonia
13. Ukraine
14. Brazil
15. Tunisia
16. Austria
17. Congo
18. Kazahstan
19. Japan
20. Argentina
22. Domenic Republic
24. Australia