Hungary and Sweden duel for gold at W17 EHF EUROArticle
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SEMI-FINAL REVIEW: Hungary extended their winning streak by beating Denmark, while Sweden edged France in the semi-finals on Friday

Hungary and Sweden duel for gold at W17 EHF EURO

Two teams that played each other just a few days ago in the main round of the Women’s 17 EHF EURO 2019 will meet again on Sunday - in the final.

Hungary continued their unbeaten streak with a hard-fought win over Denmark (25:21) while Sweden ended the winning run of France (20:19) in Friday’s semi-finals.

On Sunday, Denmark and France will contest the bronze-medal match at 12:00 hrs, followed by the final between Hungary and Sweden at 14:30 hrs. Both matches will be streamed live on, as will all placement matches (playing schedule) on Saturday.

Last Tuesday, Hungary defeated Sweden 26:22 in their Group I encounter in the main round. It was the only loss for Sweden in the tournament so far.

While Sweden won the W17 EHF EURO title once in the past, in 2013, Hungary will be appearing in their first final after losing in the semi-finals on six previous occasions.

Now Hungary’s 2002 generation can repeat the achievement of the nation’s under-19 team, who won the European title at their home event in Györ last month.

Strong finish helps Hungary beat Denmark

Hungary had a nervous start into the match, while Denmark quickly settled to build a 10:6 lead after 20 minutes, with three goals from line player Nanna Rasmussen.

While the team from head coach Heine Eriksen kept its nose in front for the remainder of the first half, Hungary started to get grip on the match and top scorer Petra Koronczai netted three times within a few minutes as her team reduced its deficit to just two at half-time, 13:11.

Nothing really separated the teams after the break and the final 10 minutes started with the scoreboard showing 20:20.

Johanna Farkas and Blanka Kajdon put Hungary two up (22:20) for the first time in the match. Anne Möller replied for Denmark (22:21), but the Scandinavian side failed the find the net again over the last five minutes, allowing again Farkas (two) and Kajdon to decide the match in Hungary’s favour, 25:21.

Koronczai and Farkas scored six times each for Hungary while Maria Wierzba led for Denmark, also with six goals.

Sweden keep France in check throughout

A bright start gave Sweden a three-goal lead (4:1) in just over five minutes as France, one of the tournament favourites that had won all their matches so far, looked overwhelmed.

But France recovered from their slow start and levelled the score at 6:6. However, they failed to take the lead at any moment in the first half. Thanks to three goals from Kajsa Lindberg Blohm, Sweden took a 9:8 lead with them into the dressing rooms.

The second half was tight as well, but the advantage remained with Sweden. In fact, France were in the lead only once, after centre back Léna Grandveau netted for 12:11 in the 37th minute.

Otherwise, Sweden maintained in control of the game. Goalkeeper Hanna Popaja excelled between the posts, and was afterwards named player of the match.

Sweden led 19:18 going into the last minute. The match was decided as soon as Elsa Asberg doubled her team’s lead. France right wing Julie Abadie’s last-second goal (20:19) came too late to affect the outcome of the match.

Sweden’s Lindberg Blohm and France’s Grandveau were the leading scorers with six goals each.

TEXT: EHF / ew