Hosts Spain get off to a victorious start at Women's 19 EHF EUROArticle
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REVIEW: The majority of favourites prevailed on the first day of the Women's 19 EHF EURO in Valencia, but Women's Youth World Championship gold medallists Romania stumbled and are already under pressure

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Hosts Spain get off to a victorious start at Women's 19 EHF EURO

The Women's 19 EHF EURO 2015 got off to a flying start on Thursday, with all 16 participating nations taking to the court.

And the tournament already witnessed some of its first surprises, the major one probably being in Group C when France beat current women's youth world champions Romania 31:24 despite a Romanian 14:12 lead at half-time.

Both teams had tested against each other in the lead-up to this championship, and France had proven on two occasions - they won the first game 34:30 and the second 37:28 - that they are capable of beating Romania.

"I feel like we’ve played bad at the beginning of the match, but the team is very strong and we’ve given our best until the end, but we still have to work hard," said France's Camille Depuiset, who was awarded Player of the Match for her team.

The loss puts world champions Romania already under pressure, as only the first two teams make it to the main round and their remaining opponents are Sweden (24:18 against Hungary), the Women's 17 EHF EURO 2013 champions which they face on Sunday, and Hungary, which they play against on Friday.

Germany show weakness from the penalty line

In Group D hosts Spain have edged a little bit closer to the main round after beating Portugal 23:19; the same goes for Norway who beat Belarus 27:17. In Friday's matches Spain play against Norway and Belarus face Portugal.

Group B saw another favourites' encounter when Russia, silver medallists at the Women's 17 EHF EURO 2013, met Germany, the silver medallists at Women's Youth World Championship 2014.

Already by half-time Russia led 14:10 and eventually extended that lead to 26:18 after 60 minutes, while Germany suffered in particular from a weakness from the penalty line, as they converted only five of the 12 seven-metre throws they were given.

Germany on Friday face FYR Macedonia, who beat Lithuania 31:27.

In Group A Serbia beat Croatia 24:20, while Denmark took home a very narrow 21:20 win against Montenegro. The next games in this group on Friday are Serbia vs Denmark and Montenegro vs Croatia.

The Women's 19 EHF EURO 2015 continues today (Friday, 24 July) with the second preliminary round matches for all participating teams.

Saturday is a rest day; the group phase then concludes on Sunday. The first two teams from each group qualify for the main round.

All matches can be watches with the stream on the official event website.

TEXT: EHF / ts