Serbia and Spain clinch group wins in Italy
Serbia and Spain finished the preliminary round of the Women’s 19 EHF Championship in Italy in first place of their respective groups after they earned wins in Thursday's matches.
In group A, Serbia narrowly prevailed against Italy (26:25), while Spain defeated Lithuania (25:18) in the group B finale.
- 538 goals were scored in the nine preliminary round matches
- Serbia will face Lithuania in Saturday’s first semi-final at 17:00 CEST, while Spain will take on Italy in the second semi-final at 19:00 CEST
- Turkey will play Israel in the 6/7 placement match on Saturday. The winner will meet Bulgaria in the 5/6 placement match on Sunday
Young players make the difference for Serbia
From the 16 players in Serbia’s squad for their match against Italy, 10 were aged 18 or 19 years old. As a tight match unfolded, Serbia relied on two 17-year-old players to make the difference: Una Obrenovic and Tamara Kocic. Kocic scored eight goals in the match and was named Serbia’s best player, but Obrenovic scored the match-winning goal with just under three minutes remaining.
Spain’s defence comes to the fore
At the W17 EHF EURO 2019 in Slovenia, Spain conceded 205 goals in seven matches and finished the championship in 16th place. In two matches at the W19 EHF Championship Italy, Spain have only conceded 35 goals. Goalkeepers Lucia Alonso and Elena Rodriguez have had the advantage of facing fewer shots than their counterparts have for Lithuania and Israel, which suggests that Spain’s defence has had the upper hand in both matches, but – as per the match statistics – they have already stopped 31 shots.
We fought till the last second and that paid off. With good defence we can do anything, so we fought – we wanted the win. We are now starting to prepare for the semi-final that we hope we will win.