The Polish team can not be denied heart and commitment, but strength and skills was enough for only 30 minutes of a balanced fight against Romania. Immediately after the brake, the visitors gave their show and the hosts were distanced. Finally, Romania won by nine goals (28:19).
Both teams before the Friday’s clash could boast of being invincible. Polish tam has already defeated Angola (26:19) and Slovakia (29:26), while Romania first managed to beat Slovakia (22:21) and then outrun Austria (37:19). As a result, the Polish-Romanian game could be called a group A hit, because the first and third team in the table were facing.
While results of Romania team can not be surprising – they are said to be on one of the main favorites of the whole tournament, they also emphasize themselves that they came to Poland to fight for the highest goals. Diana Cuica says simply: “We want gold!,” – Poles are considered to be one of the tournament’s astonishment. “Poland is a very good team, but they surprised us with the level they presented,” admitted Angola coach, Danilo Gagliard Jr. The Polish team in the match against Romania wanted to confirm this thesis again.
There was a fight on the pitch from the very first minutes of the match. The French referees had a lot to do (in the whole match they dictated 20 minutes suspension and 10 penalties). Romania was better under these conditions. Although Polish goalkeepers – Marta Chodakowska and Paulina Wdowiak – have done miracles (both had a spectacular double intervention, Chodakowska saved three penalties in the first half and secured the MVP title among Polish girls), their mates could not keep up with rivals who managed to work out an advantage (8:5 in 18th minute). Polish team was very ineffective. Magda Więckowska “woke up” only in the 25th minute and scored two beautiful goals. Romania reached the break leading 13 to 10.
The second half started with … seven goals in a row for Romania team. For nearly ten minutes, the Polish girls could not defeat well-disposed Diana Ciuca, even though playing in a double advantage. At the 40th minute, the scoreboard showed result 21:11. Romanian players played loosely then, sometimes even almost breakneck games, in which Adina Cace, the author of seven hits, was the leader. Hosts in contrary lacked effectiveness the most (40% of the effectiveness in the attack). Romania beat up to twelve goals lead (25:13, 51st minute), but Polish team in the end managed to slightly improve the result with nine goals from Gabriela Harić.
ROMANIA – POLAND 28:19 (13:10)
ROMANIA: Chetraru, Ciuca – Balaceanu 1, Cace 7, Coman, Popa 1, Barabas 2, Valcan 1, Marin 6, Tarsoaga 5, Jipa, Moraru, Stamin, Ilie 2, Pica 1, Lascateu 2
POLAND: Wdowiak, Zima, Chodakowska – Olek, Cygan 2, Stanisławczyk, Sobecka 1, Więckowska 2, Zagrajek 1, Haric 9, Szczepanik 2, Dworniczuk, Bury, Borowska 2, Pietras, Kowalik
Maciej Szarek, fot. PRESSFOCUS/ZPRP
Marta Chodakowska, Polish goalkeeper: I could have played better. We lacked efficiency and defense. We can not hide this. I hope that in the next matches we will show that we can play well and win. We are prepared very well for this tournament. Let the next meetings go well for us.
Gabriela Harić, Polish player: Romania was better today. There were differences between us. Despite losing, we gave our best and showed the character – that we can fight to the end. I do not know what happened in the second half. We tried to play our best, but unfortunately we did not make it. I am happy that I had the chance to play a lot and show what I can do. It did not work out the way we wanted, but I’m still happy with my performance. Now we have to try to win the match against Germany and Austria, although we know it will be hard. Anyway, we must cope.