Romania and Russia will meet tomorrow at 17:30 at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris to define the first semifinalist of the EHF Euro 2018. For Romania, this could be their first participation in a final and it would surpass the third place obtained in Denmark/Norway 2010, when they obtained the bronze medal. For the Russians, this could be their second ever final, and a chance to win the only gold medal missing in big championships for the ones coached by Evgeny Trefilov, as they got a silver medal in Sweden 2006.
Ahead of the clash of tomorrow, here are some statements from some of the protagonists:
Ambros Martin, coach (ROU):
“It’s very difficult to play without Cristina (Neagu), but somehow, even if she cannot play, she will be with us, and then this is also a new motivation, an extra motivation for the whole team to do a good job tomorrow against Russia. I think everybody knows she wanted to do something really great for her national team, she gave her life for the national team and when we were really close, that happened. This is sports, but as I said before we will fight and we will try to do a good game again, mainly for our goals, and especially for her”.
Evgeny Trefilov, coach (RUS):
“It’s always hard to win a European championship and we can’t say now who will win and who will lose, but we hope that we will do our best. We are very sorry that Romania lost their best player, but we are absolutely sure that they will do their best to win this game”.
Raluca Elena Băcăoanu (ROU):
“We must be together, and we’ll fight for us and for Cristina, and this is what we have to do, stay together. We have a good team spirit and this is the best thing that we have”.
Anna Vyakhireva (RUS):
“I think we try to show our spirit in every game, maybe on the first and second game (smiles), the third for us wasn’t really good, but who cares (laughs), we’re in the semifinals and I think it’s gonna be a tough match because…when people are in difficult situations they can do great things, you know? And I think Romania now, in this situation, they have an extra motivation, and for us it’s gonna be more difficult. We have to fight, we will do it and we’ll try to do our best”.
Mandatory Credit © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff