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Date: 3/18/2016
 

Montenegro faced a bigger challenge in defeating Uruguay than expected in the first of the Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament II matches in Aarhus, but ultimately finished with the decisive victory predicted to add their first two points on the table. 

In the second match of the evening Romania also recorded a clear win, against hosts Denmark, putting them alongside Montenegro at the top of the table. 

Friday 18 March in CERES Arena, Aarhus
Uruguay vs Montenegro 19:34 (10:15)

Most handball experts would have expected Montenegro to take a decisive lead from the beginning of the match, but the South American team started with great concentration and strong defence combined with efficient attack. 

Uruguay goalkeeper Paola Santos made many saves that helped her team keep pace, and after 20 minutes of play the match was still close at 8:9.

Montenegro were clearly not prepared for such tough competition, resulting in a number of technical mistakes based on misunderstandings and stressful play in attack. But in the last 10 minutes of the first half the 2012 Olympic silver medallists established stronger defence and slowly created a safe advantage to lead by five at half-time. 

In the second half Uruguay once again opened strong with two goals closing the gap to 12:15, but Montenegro quickly reclaimed control and increased their lead once more. 

Santos’ strong performance continued and Montenegro repeatedly missed their shots as a result, which meant they had to fight extra hard to maintain a safe lead. With 15 minutes left the score was 15:22, but it was then that Montenegro showed their superiority in speed and concentration while Uruguay began to fade. 

Montenegro ultimately won with the big goal difference expected of them, though it was perhaps more challenging than expected. They nevertheless add two points to their tally. 

Player of the Match: Majda Mehmedovic (MNE) Left Wing

Romania vs Denmark 32:25 (19:13)

Romania continued the exceptional form they have consistently shown over the past few months with an emphatic win against Olympic Qualification Tournament II hosts Denmark, wrapping up the first day of matches in Aarhus. 

Romania took the lead from the beginning of the match, wasting no time creating a 2:0 advantage before pulling ahead to 5:2 after just five minutes of play.

When Romania had increased their lead to 8:3 in the middle of the half, Denmark coach Klavs Bruun Jørgensen called a time-out after which his players took more control in defence and improved their shooting accuracy. 

Denmark slowly moved closer on the score board, but Romania maintained a comfortable lead at the break. 

In the second half Romania held on to their six-goal lead with a very strong performance in both defence and offence. Though the Danes played better in the second half and put up a good fight, Romania did not ease up and kept the distance through to the final whistle.

Player of the Match: Eliza Buceschi (ROU) Centre Back

Photos: Jan Christensen

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