Austria plays better and better! After first two losses the charges of Helfried Müller caught a good rhythm and added another victory to their account. Slovak side only during the firt half managed to resist their power. In the second thirty minuted Austria played consequently, thus secured a second win and promotion to the next stage of the tournament.

SLOVAKIA – AUSTRIA 23:27 (12:14)

It was a very good beginning fort he Slovak side, that started the game with a 4:1 advantage. Only after seven minutes their coach Helfried Müller decided to take a time out in order to set up his offensive again, but it didn’t help as after coming back on the court his charges lost the ball and got punished in the counterattack by Lenka Ratvajska. Slovak goalkeeper was in a great shape from the very beginning but after 15 minutes she fell down unluckily and had to be carried out oft he court and got replaced by Bella Olahova. The result was 8:5 in favour of Slovakia but the Asutrian girls were getting better and better. Finally, five minutes before the break they cought up with their rivals (8:8). In the last moments of first half Austria managed to work out a two-goals-lead and finished this part oft he game with 14:12 score.

It took only a few minutes for Austria to run away from Slovakia. During first ten minutes of the second half the players of Rasmus Poulsen managed to score only twice including a penalty shot and they were losing 14:19. They couldn’t break their shooting infirmity and were making mistakes in the defence. After next few minutes the score was 22:15 in favour of Austria. The Slovak side were trying to catch up with their rivals, especially that a good moment of a game had their goalkeeper Bella Olahova, but Austria was just too strong and in the end won 27:23.

Magda Pluszewska

photo credit: PRESSFOCUS/ZPRP

SLOVAKIA: Chudovska, Olahova, Opatova – Trepacova 6, Marcincakova 4, Beluskova, Pastorekova 4, Meszaros 6, Ratvajska 2, Chovanova, Holincova, Kakascikova, Kosova 1, Michalkova, Galkova, Manczal

AUSTRIA: Ivancok, Krenn – Martinovic, Fehringer 1, Neidahrt 12, Draguljic 2, Reichert. Kofler, Dramac 6, Spalt 3, Pandza 2, Marksteiner 1, Matosevic, Kerestely, Schlegel

Rasmus Poulsen, head coach of Slovakia: We started very well, we had a control over the game, but Austria fought back and took a lead before the half time. We wanted to correct our mistakes but we have to be honest, when we lose 0:3 after the first minutes of the second half it’s very hard to come back, we managed to catch up with our rivals a bit but it was too little time to catch up with the goals remained. We had ups and downs, we need to work on our shape. Our goalkeeper had a pain in her knee and now she is in the hospital. We don’t know yet what happened, it can be nothing and it can be everything, we hope the best for her! In our last game we play against a non-European country for the first time. It will be very difficult and interesting match. Their team is very athletic and this will be a useful experience for my girls.

Helfried Müller, head coach of Austria: I have believed in this team from the very beginning, we had to take time together to understand each other. It is a very talented team, we must fight and play our game.  Today we didn’t play nervously and we played our game. Our next opponent is Poland. I love their playing style, fighting spirit and modern handball, it will be a tough game.