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Hungary take W19 EHF EURO gold in style

Jamie Whittington

After winning the gold medal at the W17 EHF EURO in 2019, could this generation of Hungary players follow up with another gold medal at the W19 EHF EURO 2021 in Slovenia? In the final in Celje, they provided an emphatic answer to the question on Sunday as they took the title with a 31:22 win against Russia.

In Sunday's first match, Lena Grandveau's performance inspired France to a 30:29 victory against Sweden in the bronze medal match.  

FINAL

Russia vs Hungary 22:31 (11:17)

  • Hungary finish the W19 EHF EURO with a perfect record of seven wins from seven matches
  • Blanka Kajdon was named as Hungary's best player of the match; Kseniia Zakordonskaia received the award for Russia
  • three players from Hungary were subsequently named in the All-star Team

Having scored 184 goals in six matches prior to the final, Hungary's attack held a clear edge over Russia. Playing in front of some Hungarian fans who were present in the arena, Hungary made a near-perfect start as they took a 5:2 lead.

Russia coach Mikhail Izmailov called for an immediate timeout, but as Anna Kukely and Johanna Farkas continued their goal scoring exploits in the first half, Hungary's advantage grew to 14:7 in the 23rd minute. By the end of the first half, Hungary's superior depth was apparent as eight players had scored.

If Russia still had a chance at the break, Blanka Kajdon's – who was subsequently named as the MVP of the tournament – influence on the game was about to make it even more difficult. Kajdon scored Hungary's first two goals of the second period, and her combination with Farkas was key in Hungary moving 10 goals ahead (28:18) with just under 10 minutes to play. 

As the last 10 minutes played out, Hungary's lead remained at between eight and 10 goals. Shortly after Petra Koronczai scored Hungary's 31st and final goal of the match, Hungary's title-winning celebrations could begin.

BRONZE MEDAL MATCH

France vs Sweden 30:29 (15:10)

  • this was France's second YAC EHF EURO medal for this generation – after also winning bronze at the W17 EHF EURO 2019  
  • France centre back Lena Grandveau produced a match-winning performance, scoring 11 goals from 15 shots 
  • Sweden right back Nina Koppang's eight goals from nine shots helped her side fight back from a nine-goal deficit to come within one

When France met Sweden in the W17 EHF EURO 2019 semi-finals, Sweden won a tight match 20:19. At the outset of Sunday's encounter, Sweden tried to move the ball swiftly but found France's defence tough to break down. With Sweden's early shooting opportunities largely limited to tight-angle wing shots and long-range attempts, France established a 7:2 lead in the 12th minute.

As France centre back Lena Grandveau controlled the game in attack, their advantage increased to 11:3 in the 20th minute – and their lead would have been more if not for Sweden goalkeeper Agnes Aseskog’s saves. However, four goals from Sweden’s Clara Petersson Bergsten reduced the deficit to five goals at half-time.

Grandveau continued to cause Sweden’s defence in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The outcome appeared certain when France goalkeeper Jemina Kabeya Tshisola's empty net goal gave them a nine-goal cushion (24:15) in the 40th minute.

Sweden persevered and with Tyra Axnér, who did not score in the first half, netting five goals in 10 minutes, France's lead suddenly stood at only one goal (28:27). One more contribution from Grandveau and a goal from Lucie Modenel ensured that France held on to claim the bronze medal.

Saturday’s results

Placement matches 5-8

Denmark vs Romania 21:28 (10:15)

Croatia vs Germany 24:20 (12:12)

 

Placement matches 9-12

Norway vs Czech Republic 33:27 (15:8)

Switzerland vs Slovakia 33:28 (15:11)

 

Placement matches 13-16

Austria vs Montenegro 31:33 (15:15)

 

Final rankings

1st Hungary

2nd Russia

3rd France

4th Sweden

5th Romania

6th Denmark

7th Croatia

8th Germany

9th Norway

10th Czech Republic

11th Switzerland

12th Slovakia

13th Montenegro

14th Austria

15th Slovenia

*16th Portugal (withdrew from the championship)

 

All-star Team

Goalkeeper: Veronika Chipula (Russia)

Left wing: Maja Merai (Hungary)

Left back: Daria Statsenko (Russia)

Centre back: Lena Grandveau (France)

Right back: Nina Koppang (Sweden)

Right wing: Bruna Zrnic (Croatia)

Line player: Sarah Bouktit (France)

Best defender: Charite Mumbongo (Sweden)

MVP: Blanka Kajdon (Hungary)

Top scorer: Katarina Pandza (Austria - 68 goals)

The victory was easier than we expected. We played really well and we had that advantage of already playing in the final two years ago.
Szilard Kiss
Hungary head coach

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