Day one is done and dusted, the predictions of Handball Views are just so much chip paper (or you can see them below, so much for ‘science’) and there was much in the eight games to enjoy – as well as four games today to look forward to.
The most ominous result was Norway’s victory over Serbia. The ladies of Norge have a reputation for starting slow and whilst they were pegged back in the second half they played the first with ruthless efficiency, opening up a five goal lead by the break. They eventually won by two goals 28:26 but that’s presumably their hardest match in this group taken care of. In the other match in Group A, six goals apiece from Iveta Luzumova and Helena Sterbova helped the Czech Republic to a 25:22 win over Ukraine.
In Group B, a Scandinavian duel ended with Sweden coming from behind to beat Denmark. 13:15 down at the break Usain Bolt’s favourite handballers were grateful for 10 goals from Johanna Ahlm (including several from the 7m line) in emerging 27:26 winners. Denmark will be kicking themselves for missed chances and unforced errors. Elsewhere, France brushed aside Macedonia.
Germany and Spain played out a tight game in Group C. Both teams had the same number of shots in the match and it was only in the final ten minutes that the Spanish moved out to a three-goal lead. In a possibly surprising result Croatia beat Hungary by the odd goal in 55 in the group’s second match.
Group D had a draw between Russia and Romania in which the Romanians managed to lose a six goal lead in front of what is effectively a home crowd (Romania is within 10 miles of the stadium) – the Romanian coach called the Russians ‘lucky’ whereas the Russian coach thanked god. Montenegro took down Iceland in a 10 goal victory, Katarina Bulatovic helped herself to 7 and Marina Vukcevic saved half of everything that Iceland threw at her.
Today’s games (our predicted winners are in bold). All matches are live to UK viewers here.
Group C: 5.15pm (UK) Spain v Croatia; Hungary v Germany
Group D: 5.15pm Russia v Montenegro; Iceland v Romania