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Date: 8/17/2015
 

Switzerland vs Hungary 13:30 local time – 9/10 Placement Match 

The solid Hungary team were simply outplayed by Norway in their Eighth-Final. After starting the tournament strong and looking to be one of the best teams at Russia 2015 with three decisive wins to open their campaign, they were let down by a draw with Korea and a loss against Sweden in their last two group phase games, which meant they faced a more difficult opponent in the Eighth-Final stage. 

They will have something to prove when they step on the court today – but Switzerland will also be out to show their best side after a one-sided game against France in the Eighth-Final. France led from start to finish, with an eight-goal advantage at half-time that signalled the end of Switzerland’s Russia 2015 campaign. 

Switzerland’s top scorer against France was Cedrie Tynowski with five goals, and they will look to big back Albin Alili to lead them in attack. Players to watch for Hungary include centre back Adam Juhasz and Donat Bartok, who was the top scorer against Norway with eight goals. 

Russian Federation vs Serbia 18:00 local time – 11/12 Placement Match

Russia come into this match on the back of a big disappointment – a loss against Brazil, who they likely expected to overcome, in a packed Divs Palace of Sports just last night.

Their usual stars, such as right back Ruslan Dashko, centre back Sergei Bolotin and goalkeeper Iyrii Sergeev were not quite at their best – Dashko, usually one of the top scorers for the hosts, did not find the back of the net once in the first half, while Sergeev had to be substituted out with coach Alexandr Alexeev joking at the end of the match that they should have had keeping legend Andrey Lavrov in goal.

Right wing Vladislav Razmaev and left back Dmitrii Santalov produced solid performances with six and eight goals respectively, and will be hoping their teammates join them in scoring goals in the placement round. 

They had the opportunity to equalise and lost it, finishing with a two-goal deficit that sent them into the the 11/12 Placement Match against Serbia, in whom they should find a well-matched opponent. 

Serbia are also led by a strong back court, with centre back Nikola Arsenic a key part of the attack. Vukasin Rakocija was their best scorer against Spain with seven goals in the Eighth-Final. 

Serbia’s Eighth-Final was not as close as Russia’s and they have exceeded expectations ahead of the tournament – so they come into the game under less pressure, with nothing to lose and everything to gain. It should be an exciting match with Russia supporters turning out one last time in support of their team. 

Korea vs Croatia 15:45 local time – 13/14 Placement Match

Croatia made it to the Eighth-Final stage with wins in their last two games of the group phase. They then met Slovenia in a Balkan showdown in the Eighth-Final, where they managed to push their opponents, who were a much stronger side on paper, into the closing minutes of the game. 

The team played a well-structured game that saw most of the players on the court on the score board, with wings Marko Jurakic and David Mandic the leaders with four goals each. Goalkeeper Matija Spikic also had a solid game, with a particularly strong first few minutes that kept Slovenia off the board until the fourth minute.

Korea lost their last match - their Eighth-Finals game against Iceland 34:28 - even though for large parts of the game they were within touching distance - as they could not break through the Scandinavians’ 5-1 defence although their charismatic goalkeeper Jaeyong Park did manage to score after a slow transition from seven-on-six by the Icelandic side - a sure highlight of the tournament for him amongst many others.

Egypt vs Tunisia 13:30 local time – 15/16 Placement Match

The clash of Africa will see Egypt as strong favourites going into the game as both teams look to avenge their clear losses in the Eighth-Finals - Egypt to Sweden (31:26) and Tunisia to Denmark (28:14).

Aly Hassan Anis Mohamed is one to watch for Egypt as he has 35 goals to his name already, and with 35 goals as well, Anouar Ben Abdallah is the Tunisia threat.

But this match is more than a 15/16 Placement Match as Tunisia particularly will want to gain North African bragging rights upon their return home from Russia.

Coach Sylvain Noulet will expect more from his Tunisian side than he saw in their defeat to Denmark as their technical mistakes and lack of focus took away from a performance where they matched the Scandinavians at times.

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