The favorites from Denmark were too strong for the Polish girls. Scandinavians, despite the bravery of the White and Red team, won 30:20.
“Our first goal is to get promotion from the group, but we dream of entering the first eight,” – said Agnieszka Truszyńska, coach of the Polish team, before the tournament. Thanks to three wins in the group stage (with Angola, Slovakia and finally Austria), the Polish girls completed the minimum plan. On Wednesday they were playing for their dreams.
In the 1/8 finals fate crossed Poland with Denmark, the second team of group B. Scandinavians during the first week of the tournament only lose only once – against Hungary, at the very end of the group stage. What is more, Denmark is the most titled nation in history in this age category competition (2 gold medals, silver and two bronze) and the current vice-champion of the world (after defeating agiainst Russia two years ago in the final in Bratislava). They were therefore the favorites.
Polish girls, supported by numerous fans gathered in the Hall Legionow, proved to be a worthy rival for the Scandinavians. The premier quarter of the game was played in the rhythm of goal for the goal. The first two-goal lead was reached only in the 22nd minute by Denmark team (10: 8). Visitors impressed with physical strength, thanks to which Polish girls were at times overwhelmed. Before the change of the sides, Denmark added one more goal to their advantage (12:9).
As it turned out later, it was the beginning of Denmark’s domination. Ten minutes after the brake, the Scandinavians were leading by 18 to 11. The role of the “killer” in the Danish team was played by Emilie Steffensen – the author of 8 goals. Polish girls did not give up and tried to put on favorites. Among the Polish team, Aleksandra Olek was awarded MVP title (4/5 effectiveness in the attack, a large job done in defense). However, Denmark’s biggest advantage was in the last minute, the difference increased then to ten goals (29:19). Both teams in the final seconds added one more goal.
The rival Denmark team in the quarterfinals will be the winner of the pair Russia-Tunisia, Polish girls will play on Thursday (16.08) for 13th place. Opponent – Japan, which has lost against Korea (30:36). The game in Legionów Hall will start at 16 15.
POLAND – DENMARK 20:30 (9:12)
POLAND: Wdowiak, Zima, Chodakowska – Olek 4, Cygan 6, Stanisławczyk 1, Sobecka 1, Więckowska 1, Zagrajek 3, Haric 1, Szczepanik 1, Dworniczuk, Bury, Borowska, Pietras 2, Kowalik
DENMARK: Askvist, Kristensen, Jensen – Gamys, Hedegaard, Klostermann, Theil, Frokjaer-Jensen, Steffensen 8, Laursen 1, Moller 3, Hansen C. 2, Wierzba 3, Faartoft 4, Hansen A. 7, Halilcevic 2.
Kinga Stanisławczyk, Polish player: It was a nice match, we started great. In the second half we had to turn on our second gear, we thought that Denmark would let go at some point, but it came out as it turned out. It happens. The audience is great, they helped us very much today. We feel their support in good and bad moments. We can not say much about the next rival – Japan.
Anna Wierzba, Denmark player: I am very happy, the whole team played very well. Although, at times we had stress. The audience was fantastic, I’ve never played before so many fans. Every player dreams about it. This match meant a bit more to me, my grandfather is from Poland. Anyway, the most important thing, however, was victory.
Maciej Szarek, fot. PRESSFOCUS/ZPRP