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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 7/11/2018
 

The 9-16 placement round matches at the 2018 IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship opened with victories for Brazil and Slovenia. Brazil thereby claimed 11th place on the final ranking ahead of Sweden, while Slovenia finish 15th and their opponents, Montenegro, 16th.

Croatia beat Iceland to finish inside the top ten as the Hungary 2018 now has just eight places to be decided.

9/10 placement match: Croatia vs Iceland 36:23 (17:11)
Croatia had it easy against an Iceland side who finished in their best-ever ranking in an IHF Women's Junior World Championship despite their loss.

Croatia signalled their intent early on, going on 5:0 run to make it 5:1 in the opening five minutes as they stayed ahead for the remainder of the 60 minutes.

Katarina Mrazovoic top-scored with nine goals for Croatia, while Andrea Jacobsen scored five for Iceland.

The ninth-place finish for the Croats is part of consistent top 10 ranking - except for 11th in 2010, stretching back to their debut as Croatia in 2001.

11/12 placement match: Brazil vs Sweden 21:18 (12:10)
It was a low-scoring match with a particularly low-scoring second half, thanks to the excellent defence played by both sides – and a stand-out performance from Brazil goalkeeper Renata Arruda. With a total of 22 saves off 39 shots, Arruda recorded a 56% save rate for the match, playing a significant role as her team kept Sweden to just 18 goals over the 60 minutes.


Brazil had limited preparation together prior to the World Championship, and their level throughout Hungary 2018 visibly increased as they made their way through the tournament. Against Sweden, they were the first to score and always had the edge. The Scandinavian team occasionally levelled the score but they never once had the chance to take the lead.

After Brazil held a two-goal advantage at the break, they maintained a one to three-goal distance in the second 30 minutes. Sweden never gave up and were rewarded for their persistence in the 55th minute, when they finally levelled the game (18:18) for the first time since the 22nd. But Brazil – specifically Fernanda De Lima – scored the final three goals of the game to secure the victory and with it 11th place, equalling their result in 2016.

13/14 placement match: Japan vs Germany 22:23 (14:11)
Japan again led a European side, but again let their lead slip to end in defeat, but it was worse for Germany as, despite their win, 13th ranks as their worst-ever ranking at this world championship level.

Signs of improvement were clearly evident in the German display against Denmark in their eighth-final last night, which should have gone to additional time, but they will have to lick their wounds and look forward to 2020.

As usual, Mia Zschocke was the key player for Germany in terms of pushing the rhythm of her side through a difficult opening 10 minutes where Japan, led by the equally-influential Kaho Nakayama (11 goals in 22 attempts in total), who scored four times to keep her side in front. But the energetic Amelie Berger scored a quick double to put her side in the lead approaching the 15-minute mark (7:5).

However, coach Shigeo Kusumoto shuffled his Japanese pack - missing his second top-scorer, left wing Yuki Yoshidome who attended the match on a crutch - and a breakneck final two minutes of the half saw his side go in 14:11 up, thanks to a last second strike from Nakayama.

But, inexplicably, the Japanese goals dried up as they scored just eight times in the second half (five from Nakayama). Zschocke brought the scores level with 15 minutes remaining (19:19) and then Sarah Wachter in the German goal shut up shop to end with a 46% save rate as Germany ended a tournament on a high, after they had been threatened with a Preliminary Group exit early on.

15/16 placement match: Slovenia vs Montenegro 25:18 (11:8)
Slovenia equalled their lowest-ever ranking of 15th at an IHF Women's Junior World Championship with this comfortable win over regional rivals Montenegro who had Nikolina Vukcevic shown a direct red card in the 46th minute with her side already five goals down (19:4).

Montenegro would then suffer further as Slovenia continued to score unanswered to  open up an eight-goal lead (22:14) in the 51st minute.

While this game may not have been a classic, Slovenia will be happy they did not slip into 16th place.

Montenegro with just one win here in Hungary - against Portugal in the Preliminary Group - clearly have work to do if they are to have more of an influence in the next IHF Women's Junior World Championship, in 2020.

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