In their first games, the Norwegians and Russian players won high and achived  calm victories, while the Dutch women had to work hard to defeat the players from Japan. At the end of the first day of competition in group C, the European women defeated the Asian girls with three hits – 33:30.

Leading changed sides so often that none of the teams could achieve leverage of more than two goals. The Japanese played a fast handball,  moved really quickly on the field, and many times surprised with their abilities. They presented high defense in 3:3 or 3:2:1 system which caused a lot of problems for their opponents.

Netherlands played calmly, they played their action for a long time and kept tactical assumptions. The key moment turned out to be the end of the second half when Oranjes threw three goals in a row,  after a long passage they finally got on the lead.

They lead till the end of the match, although Japanese fight bravely in order to put the gap down. A huge ambition wasn’t enough. Dutchers supported by a large group of fans including the outstanding former football player – Frank de Boer, could celebrate the first, well deserved victory.

JAPAN – NETHERLANDS 30:33 (14:16) 

JAPAN Chiba, Kakizoe – Tsujino, Abe 5, Ito 5, Hattori, Yasuda, Okada 13, Nukimizu, Hirano 1, Tanifuji 1, Kurebay 1, Emoto, Ujimura 1, Mariya 1, Ueda 2

NETHERLANDS: Trooster, Van der Linden – Van der Vliet 8, De Boer 1, Van der Baan 8, Krullaars 9, Amsen, Tutert, Kruijswijk 4, Dekker 1, Krullaars, Van Diepen, Hilbrands, Van der Geest, Sprengers 1, Theron 1


Ricardo Clarijs, head coach of Netherlands: It was really nice match to watch because both teams played really fast handball and Japan has some good individual players that caused hard-time in the defense. But I guess in the end we were better team, that’s why we won. It’s always better to start with a winning. The girls are happy now and also more relaxed, because this is the first match they have ever played in World Championship.

Jun Tanaka, head coach of Japan: It was the first time that our team played with such great opponent as Netherlands. They have better physical conditions especially when the height is considered.  I believe we still have a chance in next matches, when we eliminate mistakes and make more fastbreaks.

Aneta Szypnicka/fot. PRESS FOCUS/ZPRP