France and Norway complete the first four

Summary of Matchday 5 in Chemkostav Arena

16.08.2017 Chemkostav Arena, Michalovce

SRB - SWE  15:20 (7:11)

A tight game from the beginning continued throughout the first half. Serbian team’s shooting lacked precision, therefore they squandered many good chances. Shortly before the end of the first half Sweden gained a 4-goal lead and a total score of the first half was 7:11. In the second half Sweden was keeping their score gap throughout the whole second half. Plenty of wasted chances on both sides occurred in this part of the game. Finally, Sweden overscored Serbia by 5 goals and quite easily won 15:20.

Ljubomir OBRADOVIC, team Serbia head coach: “What to say after this game? We were handicaped because we have some injured players that are very important to our defence. I don’t know what happened with my team in the second half. I can say that our defence was not good today. I can only congratulate to team Sweden on their victory.”

Jovana JOVOVIC, team Serbia player of the match: “I want to congratulate to Sweden on victory and thank for fair-play game. We expected so much more from this game. We could have better defence; also, we played without our very important player.”

Niklas HARRIS, team Sweden head coach: “We woke up late today again. We had slower beginning, then the game was OK. Today we changed several players to give them also opportunity. It was a decent game but offensively we should have played better, I think.”

Nina DANO, team Sweden player of the match: „This was our best game, we won and that was our main goal. Next part of the tournament will be difficult, but we are prepared. I like Michalovce, it is very nice here.”

SVK - CZE   21:18 (10:13)

Czech team was getting a lead gradually. Slovakia wasted several good chances because of shooting precision problem. Czechia kept a lead throughout the whole first half. The same scenario continued at the beginning of the second half. Slovakia surprisingly improved the game and finally tied the score. Soon after Slovak team gained a lead , kept a score gap until the very end and won.

Michal ČERVENKA, team Czech Republic head coach: “We lost a great chance that we could go for, so we will be very disappointed after this match. We started good as well as we played good in the first half, but we were astound by our opposition team’s higher initiative and activity in the second half. We made a lot of mistakes in our attacking play and it was the main reason we lost today.”

Julie FRANKOVA, team Czech Republic player of the match: “We are sorry, but we are glad that we fought until the end. We really wanted to win. I think that we underestimated it little bit from the beginning but that was our fault.”

Heine Ernst JENSEN, team Slovakia head coach: “It was a game like everybody expected. These two teams know each other very good. Before the tournament, it was a 50:50 game for me. It was very important for us that we managed to stay cool even though we were behind by 4-5 goals in the first half. In the second half we were running more into the balls and after winning the balls in defence we kept a higher tempo. I am very happy for our players because it means they have qualified for EURO 2019.”
Martina POPOVCOVA, team Slovakia player of the match: “It is incredible feeling to win today, we feel amazing. Victory made us happy. We had meeting before the match where we talked about strategy for this game and it helped a lot.”
Diana MICHALKOVA, team Slovakia player: “Our team was trying to prepare for this match physically and mentally and we are happy that it went well. We all did our best today. I am satisfied with my performance and I am really happy that we have won”.

ESP vs. ROU 25:23 (14:14)

A close game till the 10th minute when Spain got a 3-goal lead that was erased in 7 minutes. Spain team’s shooting got worse in this part of the game. Ten minutes before the end of the first half the game was flowing from one side to the other and became tight till the end of the first half. A close game continued in the second half as well. There were a large number of squandered chances on both sides at this time. At the mid-time of the second half Romania had a slight lead which Spain was able to erase soon. Shortly before the end Spain got a lead and luckily won.

Alfredo RODRIGUEZ ALVAREZ, team Spain head coach: “We are very happy with the result, but especially with our game. My team fought throughout the whole match, we defended very good. I am very proud of our player Danila Sodelgao Pinto who was awarded today as the best player, because she is a young girl of 16 and without any international experience so far. She was a really good choice for our team.”

Patricia Danila Pinto SODELGAO, team Spain player of the match: “We were better and we also played better than in other matches. I am very glad that I can be here and play with my team now. I am very satisfied with my performance today. I think that I did my best. The thing is to keep moving.”

Ivan ION, team Romania head coach: “Unfortunately we lost today. We did some mistakes, also some players were not disciplined in tactics. The result reflected the reality on the court today. I congratulate to Spain on their result. I only hope that our team will improve in the next games.”

Cristiana Diana CIUCA, team Romania player of the match: “I am really disappointed but that was it. I do not know the reason why we lost today. I am satisfied with my own performance today but I would be happier if my team got between first four teams.” 

NOR vs. FRA  19:26 (10:14) 

The game was quite close at the very beginning but gradually France overscored Norway and gained  a lead which was held till the end of the first half. France again gradually started to raise their goal lead in the second half. Norway had a problem with precise shooting therefore they wasted many good chances. At the mid-time of the second half was a score of 13:21 in favour of France. This gap was very promising for French team, moreover the goal difference even increased up to 9 five minutes before the end. Finally, Norway lost by 7 goals (19:26).

Pa Oldrup JENSEN, team Norway head coach: “I would say that France is a good team, but today we were satisfied that we are in the semifinals, so we did not come up to the level we needed to be to win. I think that it was a kind of combination when French team played a good game and we did not come up where we need to be to perform.” 

Eli Smorgrav SKOGSTRAND, team Norway player of the match: “We wanted to win, but I think we forgot that. We are not safe because now we are going to play against the first from another group and that is going to be a really tough game. I think that since we knew we are going to play semifinals we let ourselves too much relaxed, which was not good.”

Laurent PUIGSEGUR, team France head coach: “It was difficult because we knew before the match that we already qualified for the semifinals, so I said to my players to stay concentrated despite the fact. They played a very good match. I also gave opportunity to our substitutes to play and to be prepared for the next games, moreover I am glad that they also played good.”

Emma JACQUES, team France player of the match: “We are very happy for this victory. I hope we will win in semifinals. I am very satisfied with my performance and happy for my team.”