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Date: 8/10/2018

The Politechnika Sports Hall, Kielce University of Technology, welcomed the third matchday of Group C at the 2018 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship as the early matches saw big wins for Europe, against South America and Japan, but the final match of the day was an extremely emotional rollercoaster for both Netherlands and China, but the Dutch made it a European treble of wins by overcoming Asia.

Preliminary Group C: Friday 10 August 2018

Norway vs Argentina 39:12 (20:6)
The Norwegians meant business against Giselle Pintos' Argentina side, restricting their opponents to just two goals in the opening 15 minutes and a total of six in the first half and six in the second half.

Coach Knut Ove Joa took the opportunity to fully rotate his squad in the second half as he prepares to face Japan and Russia in his final two games, and was rewarded with all but his two goalkeepers scoring in his squad of 16. He also utilised the opportunity to practice a 3-2-1 defence which will no doubt be used against the Japanese when Norway play them after the rest day tomorrow.

Best players of the match: Eli Smorgrav SKOGRAND (NOR), Guadalupe CAVO (ARG)

Russia vs Japan 31:17 (17:8)
After five minutes and 36 seconds, Japan coach Jun Tanaka took his first time out but it did little to address the dominance of the Russians in the opening moments as they raced to a 6:0 lead after seven minutes.

The Russian defence restricted the traditional Japanese wing and fast-break goals to single figures in the 60 minutes, while their back court players dominated from the nine-metre line, shooting home 12 goals and their pacey attack recorded six strikes from six fast-breaks.

"The beginning of the match is always important because if we start well like we did today our players have a better mood," said Russia assistant coach Tatiana Berezniak. "Their energy is also better and thanks to that we play better."

It is clear now that Russia and Norway will be the title decider come the final round of group C games on Monday.

Best players of the match: Anna VERSEHCHAK (RUS), Ayame OKADA (JPN)

China vs Netherlands 30:32 (16:18)
"I’m very glad that despite all the circumstances we won," said Ricardo Clarijs, head coach of the Netherlands after his side nearly became the upset of Poland 2018 as opponents china led and then drew level with the Dutch until the stroke of half-time.

Just moment before the buzzer to signal the break, Bin Zhang had put in an extra attacker as he went for an equalising goal with seconds left of the opening period after Kirsten Theron had put her Netherlands side up by one (17:16), but the tactic backfired as China lost possession and Nyala Krullaars sunk home, full length, on the buzzer.

With that, the impetus appeared lost as the teams went into the changing rooms, but China came out strong to draw level at 18:18 in the 33rd minute.

But that was as good as it got for the Asian side as three Sprengers strikes over the next few minutes meant the Dutch found themselves 23:20 up with 20 minutes lefdt, and they never looked back, despite a vociferous Chinese bench, willing their team on vocally throughout a nervous final quarter for Clarijs' side.

We fought very hard and we are very disappointed," said Zhang. "There were weak points in defence, and we missed many chances to score. 

"We made some changes because we wanted to strengthen our defence but our players have to realise that they have to take every chance to score they have."

Best players of the match: Mengxue ZHOU (CHN), Zoe SPRENGERS (NED)