The 1/8 finals of the World Championship in Politechnika Hall began with a surprise. French favorites have been eliminated from the fight for medals. Les Blues were defeated by Netherlands 24:23.

The French took second place in group D, while Oranjes had to settle for third  in ranking of group C. Among other things, for this reason more opportunities in this competition were given to  Laurent Puigsegur players. Handballers from France started the match much better – from the very first minutes they attacked and didn’t allow their  rivals to develop. Not only did they manage better in the offensive, but they also set a very hard and tight defense.

Dutch players after just quarter were losing 3:10! At that time, however, the team captain Nikita van der Vliet gave the signal to make up for the losses and eight minutes were enough to decreased the advantage. The French lead melted to three goals. From that moment , the game was in a score to score system in which case the Les Blues had more control.

The beginning of the second half definitely belonged to Netherlands, who for nineteen minutes completely recovered their losses. In the end, the emotions reached the zenith, but  Ricardo Clarijs players kept their’s head. In the last action nerves of steel was shown by Nyala Krullaars who used a penalty goal  a few seconds before the siren ended the match.

NETHERLANDS – FRANCE 24:23 (12:16)

Netherlands: van der Linden, Trooster – van der Vliet 8, de Boer, van der Baan, N. Krullaars 4, Amsen, Tutert, Dekker 4, Z. Krullaars, van Diepen 1, Hilbrands 1, van der Geest, Sprengers 1, Theron, Nusser 5

France: Portes, Andre – Peillon 5, Leblevec, Mairot 2, Janod, Louis, Lasm 2, Wajoka 2, Pora 1, Moore, Ouattara, Jarrige 3, Foppa 5, Jacques 3


Ricardo Clarijs, head coach of Netherlands: We analyzed France before the match so we knew their strength and we knew what to do, but during the first ten minutes we didn’t use that knowledge. We did too much technical mistakes, but next twenty minutes were good from our side, so I told the girls during the break “Please go on, keep fighting, because if you do that, we can win this match.” I think that besides this first ten minutes we deserve to win, because we were a better team. We had more variation in our game . They did much better than in previous games, they are growing, so I’m really proud of my girls. I want to carry this energy to the next match, because when girls have sparkling with their eyes, they play better. Of course, we will do technical analysis, but we will also  enjoy today’s victory.

Laurent Puigsegur, head coach of France: After first half we had that thought in mind that we already win, but game lasts 60 minutes and that’s what happened. It’s hard to say anything now, I’m very sad and disappointed.

Aneta Szypnicka, photo credit: PRESSFOCUS/ZPRP