Big wins give four teams flying start into W17 EHF EUROArticle
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DAY REVIEW: Sweden, Hungary, France and Russia all opened their campaign with double-digit victories, but the four other matches on Day 1 of the tournament in Slovenia were close

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Big wins give four teams flying start into W17 EHF EURO

Sweden downed neighbours Norway by a massive 12 goals (31:19) in their Scandinavian derby on the opening day of the Women’s 17 EHF EURO 2019 in Celje on Thursday.

Still, three other teams threw off their European Championship campaign with even bigger victories: Hungary and Russia recorded 13-goal wins against Slovakia and hosts Slovenia respectively, while France outscored Montenegro by 15.

The other matches were all tight, with 2017 champions Germany edging Netherlands 22:21 and Croatia and Spain playing to a draw.

Group A: Dream start for Sweden

Left back Tyra Axner scored eight times and was named player of the match after helping Sweden to a dream start, handing Scandinavian rivals Norway a heavy 31:19 defeat.

Sweden already led by six at half-time (16:10) and head coach Patrik Svarvén’s team steadily expanded and ultimately doubled the lead after the break.

In sharp contrast, the other group match was tight and ended in a draw. Croatia led Spain 10:8 after a low-scoring first half, but right wing Aroa Casia Castro netted six times in total as Spain made up the deficit in the second half, 25:25.

Group B: Austria stun Romania

Hungary stepped up a gear in the second half of their match against Slovakia, transforming a 13:10 half-time lead into a huge 31:18 victory.

Best scorer for the Hungarian side was left back Petra Koronczai with eight, while right back Barbora Lancz netted seven times for the Slovakians.

Katarina Pandza was the outstanding player in the other group match as the Austria left back’s 10 goals were crucial for her team in upsetting Romania 26:24.

Group C: Germany rally for narrow win

Germany, the last nation to lift the W17 EHF EURO trophy two years ago, came out on top after an expected close battle with neighbours Netherlands.

Both teams had enjoyed three-goal leads during the match and Netherlands led at half-time, but they were all square at 21:21 when Germany line player Kimberley Gisa scored the winner with 28 seconds left on the clock.

Dutch left back Esma Staal was the best scorer of the match with seven goals - including five in the last 10 minutes.

Centre back Constanca Sequeira excelled with nine goals as Portugal defeated Denmark 24:21 in the other group game.

Group D: Huge wins for France, Russia

Coming fresh off their victory at last week’s European Youth Olympic Festival 2019, France continued their impressive form by hammering Montenegro 30:15.

No less than 12 players found their way onto the score sheet for head coach Laurent Puigsegur’s team, led by centre back Léna Grandveau’s five goals.

In the last match of the preliminary round on Thursday night, Russia became the most-scoring team of the opening day as they handed hosts Slovenia a 33:20 defeat. Just like France, 12 Russian players found the net, with Anna Kainarova, Ekaterina Skivko and Ksenia Zakordonskaya each scoring five times.

All matches live on

The 16 teams play their second match in the preliminary round on Friday and all matches (playing schedule) are streamed live on Information on the event is also available on the official tournament homepage.

TEXT: EHF / ew