Slovenia to play Poland in final, hosts look for bronzeArticle
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ROUND REVIEW: Last two matchdays of the Women's 17 EHF Championship Preliminary Round in FYR Macedonia concludes, finals day to come.

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Slovenia to play Poland in final, as hosts look for bronze

Hosts FYR Macedonia will not be playing in the final of the Women's 17 EHF Championship in Skopje after they lost their crunch match earlier this evening against Poland.

For the Poles, they will contest for a gold medal against Slovenia tomorrow (Sunday 6 August) after they won both their remaining preliminary group matches this past 48 hours.

The full playing schedule of the Women's 17 EHF Championship can be found HERE.


Poland beat Switzerland 30:23 (16:9) on Friday as Julia Pietras turned on the style, scoring nine goals for the Poles, but she was ably backed up by Barbara Zima in the Polish goal, who was later named best player for the Polish side. Switzerland, who could only score nine goals in the first half, saw their best player, Joline Tschamper score five.

“What brought us this victory was our determination and the desire to win,” said Polish coach Agnieszka Truszynska after the game. “All 16 players want to win very much, and the coaching team as well. The group is not easy and everyone can beat everyone.”

FYR Macedonia beat Faroe Islands 24:20 (14:12) to ensure the winner-takes-all final group match against Poland the following day as Jovana Kiprijanovska scored seven times in front of a home crowd of 1,000 spectators.

These results meant it all came down to the crunch game for top spot earlier this evening. Poland succeeded in breaking host nation hearts as they easily beat FYR Macedonia 31:14 (17:6). The result meant that Poland qualified for the final and were helped there by their player of the match Kinga Stanislawczyk and three different scorers who clocked five goals each. Magda Wieckowska was disqualified early on for the Polish side after just 15 minutes.

“We are very happy that we took first place in the group and will play in the final,” said Polish coach Agnieska Truszynska. “I’m satisfied how we played and I would like to congratulate all my team.”

The results of Group A over the past two matchdays meant Poland finish top (8 points), FYR Macedonia second (6), Switzerland third (4) and Faroe Islands in fourth, with two points. Greece finish bottom after they were disqualified earlier in the tournament.

An easy 13-goal win for Slovenia over Iceland (28:15) saw them cement their place at the top of the table on Friday, edging ahead of Bulgaria on goal difference. Six goals from Sasa Golavsek saw her named best Slovenian player, while Harpa Maria Fridgeirsdottir got seven and the best player award for the Icelanders who stayed firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, without any points.

“We are playing better in every match,” said Slovenia coach Boris Cuk after the game. “Once again our defence was decisive and we had diversity in offence.”

Bulgaria beat Kosovo 41:30 (20:15) in a high-scoring match which will worry both coaches defensively. Both top scorers, unsurprisingly had double figures each with Sara Rexhepi (10) for Kosovo and Madlen Todorova for Bulgaria – with a 100% strike rate, who was also her sides’ best player. Rina Rexhepi was named the best performer for the Kosovans who were 7:1 behind after just 10 minutes.

Arrita Kursani for Kosovo, was shown a red card after three two-minute suspensions in the space of 15 minutes (34-49th). That result on Friday saw Rexhepi top the goalscoring charts (33 goals) briefly, but Bulgaria could not go above Slovenia at the top of the group due to an inferior goal difference.

“We really did not expect to be in the situation to play Slovenia for top spot,” said Bulgaria coach Nikolai Nikolov. “Slovenia is a favourite and we will give our best to get another win.”

In the games earlier today, Slovenia beat Bulgaria 36:23 (18:8) to confirm their top spot and place in the final. Petra Surla Toth received the best player of the match award for her performance in Slovenia colours while Mladena Todorova grabbed the award for Bulgaria.

“We are growing day to day,” said Slovenia coach Boris Cuk. “Today we had a chance to use the whole team and that way the main players could rest a little bit before tomorrow’s final.

“I think that we are physically in good condition to play another good match.”

In the other group B match today, Iceland beat Israel 29:18 (14:11) to finish third in the group. “Today we finally played as I know we can.,” said Iceland coach Haraldur Dorvardson. “I hope that we play in our last match tomorrow like we did today.”

Slovenia ended the group with four wins from four and top with eight points. Bulgaria were second with six points, and then Iceland, Kosovo and Israel finished in third, fourth and fifth respectively, all on two points each.

Sara Rexhepi (Kosovo) tops the scoring charts going into the final day, with 33 goals.
The final day of games at FYR Macedonia 2017 is tomorrow (Sunday 6 August) with the final between Poland and Slovenia set for at 19:45 throw-off (local time), bronze (17:30) and 5-10 placement matches taking place, starting at 11:45 (local time).

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Photos: Official MKD 2017 website