Russia 45 : 18 Puerto Rico
Russia had no problems to get their third victory in a row against Puerto Rico. After defeating Norway and Spain, the conducted by Evgeny Trefilov tried to achieve as much as possible goal average against American team. Puerto Rican team was enough intense in the initial minutes and avoid an overwhelming Russians kick off (the scoreboard reflected 6:3 in the 10th minute), but goalkeeper Anna Sedoykina from the goal line and the rest of excelent shooters made the difference increase in a few minutes. Even so, goalkeeper Kitsa Escobar made some brilliant saves during the whole match, but Russian team was too skillful for the team conducted by Camilo Esteves.
After the match Russian Tatiana Khmyrova said: “We know Puerto Rico is not a very strong team, but it has been difficult to play against them because they are smaller than us but very strong women. We feel very good and I think we are a strong team, but this is just the beginning of the championship, so we have to continue this way”.
Despite the defeat against Rusia, Puerto Rican goalkeeper Kitsa Escobar was satisfied with her team’s work: “This is our first time in a World Championship, we all know that our level is very different comparing with the rest, so our objective is to improve it match by match. We are very happy with our progress and of course it is also an honour to share the court with such good players”.
Spain 26 : 18 Romania
Romania started leading easily the scoreboard, as they set 1:4 in a few minutes. Spain had to go in tow almost the whole first half due to Cristina Neagu’s excellent performance, but it was Nerea Pena who set the equality in the scoreboard 10 minutes before the half time. Spanish team seemed to react on time, they found easier Romanian goal and defense was better organized. Goalkeeper Darly Zoqbi helped also in the reaction but Romanians wouldn’t take for overdue and set again a 3 goals difference. After that they wouldn’t score again until the second half and Spain reacted. The Guerreras were able to turn the scoreboard around and after the break, they become Romanian’s nightmare. Thanks to an amazing Nerea Pena leading the Spanish attack and an almost perfect defense with Darly Zoqbi saving a 50% of the Romanian team’s shots, the conducted by Jorge Dueñas became devastating for their rival and didn’t let them any possibilities of reaction.
After the game, Spanish left wing Eli Pinedo says this: “Yesterday we had individual concentration errors, probably due to the nerves of the game, but today I think we all have been very focused from the start until the very end. The whole players have added something and I think this is what has made us get the victory.”
By the other side, Romanian leader Cristina Neagu was disappointed and explained that “Romanian game is not the one that we have showed in the second half. We just scored six goals in 30 minutes. They started scoring in a row and we didn’t know how to stop it. That situation made us get more and more hopeless and we lost our style”.
Norway 40 : 19 Kazakhstan
Norway fulfilled their job against Kazakhstan without many problems. In the first half current European champion made some errors in defense and their rival took advantage of these, approaching in the scoreboard to one goal of difference (minute 12 they were 6:7). But then Norwegian players woke up and started increasing that difference until they get the definitive 20:10 of the first half. In the second one, the line of the match was the same. Valeriya Karavayeva was suspended with a red card in an action over Amanda Kurtovic, but apart from that Kazakhstan always continued trying to do their best with some great saves and goals.
After the match, Norwegian pivot Heidi Loke said this: “I’m very satisfied with the game we have played today. Now we have to prepare for the one against Romania, which is going to be very tough as always. We have to use the day of tomorrow not just to enjoy and relax but to prepare to be ready for this next duel.”
PHOTO: Rasmus Østergaard/DHF.DK (22nd Women’s World Championship, ROU vs. ESP)