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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 12/3/2017

Romania and Spain each took their second victories in Group A of the Women’s World Championship in Trier. While Spain had an easy evening match against Paraguay, Romania had to fight hard to leave Slovenia behind. In the third match, France profited from a strong second half to defeat Angola.

Slovenia vs Romania 28:31 (14:14)

After their sensational 24:23 win against France in their opener, Slovenia were close to cause another major surprise. But in the end, current IHF World Player of the Year Cristina Neagu again made the difference. Scoring eleven goals, she was the bright shining star of a partly struggling Romanian team. Finally, Neagu even won the ‘private shoot-out’ against Slovenia top scorer Ana Gros, who netted in ten times.

Attended by 2411 fans, among them again 400 Romanians, who created a home atmosphere, this match was a true promotion for women’s handball. “This was a brilliant performance of both sides,” Romanian Spanish born coach Ambros Martin praised: “Slovenia truly were very confident after their win over France, and we only won due to the hard work and fighting spirit in the second half.”

Like against France, Slovenia started in express mode, being ahead 5:1. Despite the huge support of the cheering crowd, Romania had problems reducing the gap initially but managed to level the result at half-time. “We were strong before the break, but in the second half we lacked the options to rotate and lacked power,” said Slovenian coach Uros Bregar, who was “very proud of the girls despite the defeat”.

Backed by Neagu’s strong shots and the strikes of Eliza Buceschi (five in total) Romania turned the tide in the last ten minutes. “We left our goalkeeper alone in this crucial period,” said Tjasa Stanko, Slovenia’s second best scorer (five goals). Even a 7:6 attack tactic in the dying minutes did not change the score for the Slovenians. “We were handicapped by several suspensions in the end, this was another reason for the defeat,” added Bregar.

Angola vs France 19:26 (10:11)

A strong re-start after the break was the key for the French win. “We are still not on 100 percent, but we played much better than yesterday,” said coach Olivier Krumbholz: “We are on a right way.” One day after the 23:24 defeat against Slovenia, France had a shaky start again, while the powerful African champions were on an equal level until the 11:11 right after the break. Then France scored a 7:1 series. “This was the crucial period, we did not come back after that, so the French win was deserved,” said Angola coach Morten Soubak. After goalkeeper Cristina Branco received a red card, the resistance of the Africans was broken. Top scorer was French right back Alexandra Lacrabere with seven goals, who also was awarded player of the match. In general, her side still missed too many chances.

Paraguay vs Spain 15:32 (6:16)

It was not only the height differences, which decided this match early. On the one hand, the professional Spanish stars, on the other the ‘students’ from Paraguay. “We are happy to be at a competition likes this and to face opponents like Spain. This is a great experience for us,” said assistant coach David Eduardo despite the clear defeat. As expected, Spain took their second decisive win, being ahead 7:1 after only nine minutes. “We were focused until the end, though it is hard to keep the spotlight in a match like this. I hope, we can keep this flow in the next matches,” said Spain coach Carlos Viver. He rotated a lot and gave playing time to the second row. A reason, why Paraguay only scored 15 goals was the performance of Spain goalkeeper Silvia Navarro, who saved 15 shots and was awarded best player of the match. Best scorer was Silvia Arderius with seven strikes.