continents were present on the court in the morning session of the second match
day of the women’s Olympic competition – and Europe and Asia each took one
decisive victory. After beating Angola quite clearly, Croatia can hope for a
quarterfinal spot. Later-on the Koreans proved their medal ambitions by a
close, but deserved victory against Denmark. With 4:0 points the Asians
recently are on top of the table of group B.
Angola – Croatia 23-28 (11-13)
won a crucial duel with Angola in their preliminary group A women's
handball match at the Copper Box on Monday - a potentially
pivotal result in their bid to reach the quarterfinals. Croatia took both
points with a 28-23 (13-11) victory in the first game of the second women's
losing their starter against Russia on Saturday, Angola now need at least two
victories from their last three matches to keep their hopes for the knock-out
stage alive, while Croatia are in a good position despite a loss to Brazil.
ZEBIC (CRO), who scored nine times, and goalkeeper Ivana JELCIC (CRO) were
Croatia's key players, while Marcelina KIALA (ANG) and Isabel GUIALO (ANG) were
the top scorers with five goals each for the African champions, whose
fighting spirit was not enough.
a superb performance from JELCIC, who saved 50% of all Angolan shots in the
first half, and a great catch-up chase with four straight goals before the
halftime buzzer, the Croats took a 13-11 lead to the dressing rooms.
this psychological advantage after being down 9-11 in the 26th minute, the
Europeans extended their lead to 17-11 with their eighth consecutive goal,
resulting in an early Angolan time-out.
the African champions tried everything to reduce the margin and change the
momentum, the Croats resisted the pressure. The precise back-court shots of
Andrea PENEZIC (CRO) and the counterattacks of ZEBIC kept
them in a comfortable position until 10 minutes before the end.
had a nervous final few minutes as Angola closed the gap to two
goals, before PENEZIC and Lidija HORVAT (CRO) clinched the game with a double
after the match:
Vivaldo EDUARDO (ANG) : “We
started very well but it was hard to keep up in the second half. We are
going to improve that to be ready for the next game with Montenegro and
hopefully continue. It is our goal to reach the quarterfinal. With three games
to go, we still have Great Britain, Montenegro and Brazil. We want to win the
Marcelina KIALA (ANG): "We found it difficult to play against a
very well-prepared Croatian team. Physically, they were superior and we
succumbed under pressure from them. We will treat our next two games as a
final.We will fight to the end and will make every effort humanly possible to
get a victory in those two games against Great Britain and Montenegro."
Vladimir CANJUGA (CRO) : "This
is a good win and we have so many more tough matches ahead of us. We must not
think we are in the quarterfinals now because we have Russia next and then more
difficult opponents. I am happy with the performance but sometimes my team has
a psychological blockage against opponents."
Jelena GRUBISIC (CRO): "We
definitely attacked better today than we did in the game against Brazil, we
were more fast-breaking and had a fast centre. We have Russia, Montenegro and
Great Britain next and we are very confident of making it to the quarterfinals."
Korea – Denmark 25-24 (11-10)
maintained their 100% record in women's handball with a second
victory against a top European opponent in preliminary round group B.
beating Spain, the Asian champions secured a close, but deserved, 25-24 (11-10)
victory against Denmark thanks to their defence and counter-attacks.
Korean victory in the Copper Box was not only a major step towards the
quarterfinals but also towards winning the preliminary stage group. It
also meant revenge for Korea after they suffered defeats against Denmark
at both the Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
remain on two points, but are still on course for the knockout stage. Top
scorers were JO Hyobi (KOR) with five goals and Pernille LARSEN (DEN), who
scored seven times for Denmark.
goalkeepers - JU Hui (KOR) and Christina PEDERSEN (DEN) - made their mark in
the first half with their saves as both defences stood strong.
were as much as four goals ahead but could not shake off their opponents,
as the Danish back court players, such as Trine TROELSEN (DEN), Camilla DALBY
(DEN) and Line JORGENSEN (DEN), took advantage of their extra height before the
finishing the first half ahead 11-10, the Asian champions missed several
big chances - including two penalty shots - at the start of
the second half, so the game remained tight.
Korea, backed by the saves of JU (KOR) and boosted by some fluid
counter-attacking goals, regained their dominance and extended the gap to five
goals at 21-16.
final tactic of Danish coach Jan PYTLICK (DEN), who replaced the goalkeeper
with a seventh court player, did not endanger the Asians, who decided the
result three minutes before the end when they went 25-20 ahead.
straight Danish goals came too late, so the Koreans could start their
victory dance on the court on the final buzzer.
after the match:
Mette MELGAARD (DEN): "We
are very disappointed. We had problems scoring during the game. It was very
difficult against Korea because they play a lot different to what we are
used to. In the end we did good, and it was good that we fought back. We
are almost there but we need to be more focused in front of goal. We need to
correct a few things and try and score more goals."
Trine TROELSEN (DEN): "Korea
are one of the quickest, if not the quickest, team in the competition. They
were much faster than we were around the court and it showed. But we gave them
a real fight at the end and almost got level. We want to finish as high in the
group as possible to get a slightly easier quarterfinal and this is obviously a
setback. But we can pick ourselves up and improve."
KANG Jae Won (KOR): "I
felt the Korean team won very easily. There are times where we missed points
but we just have to be careful in future."There are so many games yet to
play. We have to do our upmost to get further."
Eun Bi (KOR): "It
is the first time I have played in the Olympics and it has been a dream