Romania break rut to seal main round berth
Romania clinched the last main round berth in group C with a 31:23 win against North Macedonia, as the co-hosts became the third eliminated team at the EHF EURO 2022.
North Macedonia vs Romania 23:31 (12:13)
- Romania star Cristina Neagu was the key player for her team, scoring 10 goals and dishing five assists, as she improved her tally at the EHF EURO 2022 to 18 goals and her overall tally at the EHF EURO to 282 goals
- a 3:0 run between the 16th and the 22nd minute and a 4:1 run to start the second half were key for Romania’s win, albeit Florentin Pera’s side did not shine, with a 55% attacking efficiency
- goalkeeper Daciana Hosu has been nothing short of superb for Romania since entering the court in the 18 minute, boasting a 43% saving efficiency with 10 saves
- Romania broke their worst-ever losing streak in the competition, six games in a row, registering only their second win in the last 12 matches, but will start the main round with 0 points, after losing against the Netherlands and France in the first matches
- this was North Macedonia’s sixth consecutive loss at the EHF EURO, tying their worst-ever losing streak in the competition, as the last win for the co-hosts came in 2008, when they also hosted the competition
North Macedonia play better, but fail to match Romania
For 30 minutes, North Macedonia were allowed to hope for a big surprise against Romania, as they kept close and even tied the game multiple times, as Romania were left scratching their heads. But they did not take the lead, always forced to come from behind to try and shock Romania, in spite of their 34% attacking efficiency in the first half. However, that approach failed, as North Macedonia do not have a long bench, with the main players getting more and more tired.
This is when Romania duly delivered in the second half, as their back line has starting getting more in a groove. And with Cristina Neagu having an excellent outing, scoring 10 goals, more than a 100% improvement from the first two matches, when she only had eight goals, it was game over for North Macedonia.
The co-hosts never had too many hopes to start with, but this experience will be very important for Ljubomir Savevski’s side, as they will be trying to improve the team and help North Macedonia get back to the EHF EURO in two years’ time. However, their adventure in Skopje stops now, with France, the Netherlands and Romania making it to the main round.
Sanja Dabevska, line player of North Macedonia: “It was a tough match, in the first half we gave everything, but in the second half we faltered and gave up a bit. Our team is very young and Romania’s experience prevailed. I hope that our team will get better and better in the next tournaments.”
Daciana Hosu, goalkeeper of Romania: ”I am very happy, because today I was not feeling okay, I do not know if there were emotions, nerves or anything like that. But we won, we all played good, we played as a team. I was named the Player of the Match, but I could not have done it without my teammates.”