European derbies headline the day in Group B

27 Jul. 2021

European derbies headline the day in Group B

Running updates of Tokyo 2020 women's Group B – follow the action of the Olympic handball tournament live and stay always up-to-date. Brazil shocked Hungary today to take two points, while Sweden claimed a commanding win against the ROC and Spain grabbed their first points of the competition against Rio 2016 silver medallists France

It's round two of Group B at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 women's handball tournament, with three match scheduled that are surely promising.

Today's matches:

  • 11:00 JST: Brazil vs Hungary (33:27)
  • 14:15 JST: Sweden vs ROC (36:24)
  • 21:30 JST: France vs Spain (25:28)


23:00 JST FINAL WHISTLE France vs Spain 25:28

Tremendous second half for Spain, who grab their first two points versus the Rio 2016 silver medallists France. Viva España!

As we mentioned in the last update, the wings were the key for the ‘Las Guerreras’ to damage the French defence. In addition to that, Captain Carmen Martin showed up when her team needed her the most — she scored four goals in the closing six minutes to leave France hopeless.

It was a wonderful demonstration of mental strength from Spain, who recover after a weak first game at Tokyo 2020.

22:40 JST Spain hurt France through the wings

Spain return from the dressing room with a clear idea, to use their wings. It works out perfectly and with two goals from right wing Marta Lopez and one from 19-year-old Paula Arcos in the left wing position, they build a four goal lead in the 40th minute (18:14).

Alexandrina Cabral puts the ball away after a fast break and extends the margin to five goals as we get into the last 10 minutes of the game. They lead 23:19. France need a fast reaction.

22:10 JST HALF-TIME France 12:12 Spain

Spain were trailing for most of the first period until Alexandrina Cabral broke through the French defence in the 28th minute and levelled the game at 11:11. Then, Alicia Fernandez scored from the six-metre line and the Spaniards took the lead for the first time. Pauline Coatanea scored a quick equaliser and we go to the half-time break with a draw at 12:12.

No one is shining so far. It’s a very intense game with two very compact defences. We expect a nail-biting second half. If you are in for emotions, you’d better not miss it!

21:50 JST France lead by three

These teams know each other well and it’s no surprise how physical the game has been in the first few minutes.

Amandine Leynaud starts on the right foot with four saves and frustrates the Spanish attack as France are up 7:4 into the 16th minute.

21:30 JST Spain look to take revenge on France

France beat Spain 27:26 in extra-time in their quarter-final encounter at Rio 2016. In recent history there’s another one-goal victory for the French against the 'Las Guerreras' — 26:25 at the Women's EHF EURO 2020.

Both teams are on court, ready to meet again in Group B at Tokyo 2020. France look firm after a 30:29 victory against Hungary two days ago. Spain had an upsetting start to their Olympic campaign with a 24:31 loss to Sweden. Let's see if they can leave that behind and take their first points in the competition tonight.

Time for top quality handball at Yoyogi National Stadium!

16:25 JST Quotes after Sweden's win

Carin Strömberg, Sweden centre back

On the key to the decisive win: “I think we had a really strong team effort today. Everyone was really good and we took turns going against the goal and the fast breaks. Also, we were really prepared in the defence and this allowed us to do our fast breaks.”

On the development of the team since the EHF EURO 2020: “We were parts of a new team at the last championship and now we have a lot of weeks together. I think we took steps every time we were together and now I think we can see that on the court.”

On what specifically they have been working on since the December EURO: “We’ve been talking a lot about handball, how we want to play and also doing what we want to do – strong defence and a really strong fast break.”

On how Sweden seem early contenders among the favourites at Tokyo 2020: “I think it’s hard to see something right now. It’s a lot of good games left and we are in a group that is really, really tough and everyone is winning against everyone. So, we will just take one game at a time and today we are going to be happy about this win. Tomorrow we are just going to prepare for the next.”



15:55 JST Records for Sweden and the ROC, as we look towards Group A

Wow, that was a whirlwind. It was both Sweden’s biggest-ever win at the Olympic Games and also ROC’s largest-ever loss in the competition, which will surely sound the wind of change for a team that five years ago, at Rio 2016, went undefeated to seal the gold medal. Right now, two teams have really impressed and they are both from Scandinavia: Norway in Group A, and Sweden in Group B.

We’ll see Norway later on, when they take on Angola. But right now, we are heading to Group A, as the Republic of Korea are looking for their first win at Tokyo 2020, against the Netherlands. We will be back with Group B around 21:30 JST, when France and Spain face off in the last game of this round.

15:40 JST FINAL WHISTLE Sweden vs ROC 36:24

In the first game at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Elin Hansson scored six goals for Sweden in the win against Spain. Hansson only managed three goals today, against the ROC team, but up to the task were backs Carin Strömberg (eight goals) and Jamina Roberts (seven times). The Swedish pair jumped to the second place in the top scorer standings, with 11 goals each.

But for Sweden, these stats matter less. What is important is that they thoroughly dominated an ROC team that was clueless in attack and could not stop their opponents in defence, not for the lack of trying. It was a team performance by Sweden, who had nine different players on the scoresheet and limited the ROC to only 24 goals, frustrating stars like Daria Dmitrieva (two goals from eight shots) or Anna Vyakhireva (three goals from seven shots). It is back to the drawing board for the ROC, who will need to improve heavily to enter the medal discussion.

Yet the real stars of the game were the Swedish players, who recorded the biggest-ever win at the Olympic Games, improving their record set at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, a 10-goal victory against Argentina (31:21).

Sweden are now leading the group, with four points and a superb goal difference, +19, while the ROC fell to the fourth place, with only one point, with a game more than Spain, who are sixth. Sweden can extend their winning streak on Thursday against France, while the ROC face Hungary in a do-or-die battle for a place among the first four teams in Group B.

15:27 JST ROC’s nine-game unbeaten streak will be ended

Prior to Tokyo 2020, the Swedish women’s national handball team had a grand total of four wins from 17 matches played at the Olympic Games. They have started with two wins in two games only once, five years ago, at Rio 2016, but they failed to seal another win in their next matches. But right now, this Swedish team soar. They are taking no prisoners. And, most importantly, they do not have a star that is really shining, everything flows seamlessly thanks to a group effort.

There is no doubt that Sweden will win this game and throw ROC’s chances to defend their gold medal into disarray. The schedule is not helpful, with Aleksey Alexeev’s side facing Hungary, France and Spain in the next matches. But this will also come as a blow mentally, as the ROC lost only its fourth game in 24 at the Olympic Games and the first since the quarter-final at London 2012. It was a nine-game streak, which will be ended by Sweden today, as the Scandinavian side are leading 28:19, with 10 minutes to go.

15:15 JST Sweden marching to their second win in a row

It was a historic bad start for the ROC team, who had never scored less than 10 goals in the first half of a match at the Olympic Games before. Their worst outing was at the Rio 2016 final, when they won against France, 22:19, while scoring only 10 times in the first half. This time around, they did not hit that mark and their 39% shooting efficiency was indicating the main issue – they miss too many chances, some of them clear-cut.

A bit better to start in the second half, the ROC reverted to a 5+1 aggressive defence, as Kalinina added two more saves in the first three minutes. But the Russian attack turned the ball over two times, helping Sweden recreate their lead. At a glance, there is nothing the ROC can do now to prevent defeat. They are not just up to par with the level of the Swedish team now, with their stars failing to deliver when it matters. However, Iuliia Managarova’s 200th goal in the national team just gave them a bit of faith.

It’s Sweden’s game to lose now, as the Scandinavian side still hold a 21:14 lead in the 39th minute.

14:40 JST HALF-TIME Sweden vs ROC 15:9

Just when the ROC team looked like they cleaned up their act in attack, finding a gear, another suspension for Anna Vyakhireva, the second in 22 minutes, derailed their plans. There is miscommunication in attack, as a pass intended for the left wing goes nowhere, as Kuznetsova was already heading to the bench to be substituted by Kalinina. This type of mistakes are costly and show that the ROC are careless and, probably, not as focused as they needed to be.

There is no surprise that after a half in which they had a player more for eight minutes, after four Russian suspensions, Sweden are cruising to a 15:9 lead at the break. It is truly a team effort, with eight outfield players scoring at least one goal, but none of them scored more than Carin Strömberg (five goals).

Stromberg, who in the first game was a facilitator, rather than a finisher, looks now to spearhead Sweden’s attack, in a game in which the ROC are lacking poise. Their usually reliable back line, with Dmitrieva, Vyakhireva and Ilina is mostly off, as the three stars combined for only four goals from 15 shots.

14:37 JST Kalinina shines, but cannot erase attacking troubles for ROC

The reigning Olympic champions are in trouble. The draw against Brazil was not just an 'off-day', rather underlining the issues of the ROC team. Since receiving a two-minute suspension in the fifth minute, for simulating, the MVP of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Anna Vyakhireva, has not featured on the court, being replaced by Antonina Skorobogatchenko. In attack, the ROC have been abysmal, converting only 33% of their shots. They have been struggling heavily from the back line, while scoring only once via fast breaks, with Iuliia Managarova failing to get shots.

Unfortunately for the ROC team, this truly erases the excellent performance put in by goalkeeper Viktoriia Kalinina, who saved six shots, including a penalty, for a superb 43% efficiency. Were it not for Kalinina, the 5:8 score line would have been much worse for the ROC after 19 minutes.

14:28 JST Sweden enjoy great start

With five saves between them, goalkeepers Johanna Bundsen and Victoriia Kalinina have been the stars of the first 10 minutes, in what is shaping up to be a great defensive battle between the ROC and Sweden. Fresh off a surprising draw against Brazil two days ago, the ROC are now much stronger in defence, trying to stop their opponents at all costs.

For the moment, Sweden are relying heavily on backs Jenny Carlson, Carin Strömberg and Jamina Roberts, a fresh take from their usual game plan, which relies strongly on their wings. After a shaky start, the team’s attacks have starting firing on all cylinders, as Sweden are currently leading 6:4, confirming their superb bout of form heading into Tokyo.

14:10 JST All-European headliner resumes action in Tokyo

The ROC team have only conceded two losses against Sweden in their history, taking nine wins, while one game ended in a draw. The Scandinavian side won a friendly game on 3 July, 31:28, but won only one of the last mutual four encounters, conceding losses at the Olympic Games at Beijing 2008, 24:28, and Rio 2016, 34:36.

Yet, the ROC side, the reigning Olympic champions, have had their share of trouble at Tokyo 2020, drawing their first game against Brazil, 24:24. On the other hand, Sweden were dominating against Spain (31:24), playing like a serious candidate for a medal. Was it only smoke, or is there a serious fire in the belly for the Swedish side, who brought a young side to Tokyo 2020, mixed with experienced players like back Jamina Roberts and back Johanna Westberg.

Carin Stromberg (three goals, eight assists) and Jamina Roberts (four goals, three assists) were crucial for Sweden in the first game against Spain, while line player Linn Blohm has also scored five goals and has been instrumental in defence. One of the headliners today is ready to start. Let’s play handball!

12:40 JST Brazil write history against Hungary

This was Brazil’s first win against Hungary since the IHF Women’s World Championship quarter-finals in 2013, when the future title winners needed extra time to secure a 33:31 win, after a 26:26 draw in regular time. However, this is Brazil’s first win in the history of the Olympic Games against Hungary, after the previous game ended in a 28:28 stalemate at Beijing 2008, and also their biggest win ever against them.

Brazil also won their 13th game in history at the Olympic Games, but it was by no means their largest win, with the record set in three games, 32:19 against Australia at Sydney 2000, 30:17 against Great Britain at London 2012 and 26:13 against Romania at Rio 2016.

We'll take a break and come back with the third game of the day at Tokyo 2020, another Group B showdown between Sweden and the ROC. The match throws off at 14:15 JST.

12:30 JST FINAL WHISTLE Brazil vs Hungary 33:27

Well, the day gets better and better. The underdogs are wrecking havoc at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020! After Japan’s 29:26 win against Montenegro in the first game, another European powerhouse, Hungary, falls as Brazil overpower them 33:27. After being down 1:4 in the first half, Brazil quickly bounced back and started to become better and better, until they dominated the game. This is one of the most clear cut performances in the competition up until this point and credit for Brazil for pulling this off in emphatic fashion.

Hungary might have expected a strong game from Brazil’s top scorer in the first game, Bruna de Paula, but it was the experienced players who shone, as de Paula scored only once. Ana Paula Rodrigues Belo was back at her best, scoring seven times, while Eduarda Amorim overcame her bad start into the tournament only to add six goals, as the Brazilian side really were superb. On the other hand, Hungary paid the price of the 13 balls they turned over, in a truly disappointing game for Gabor Elek and Gabor Danyi’s side.

With this win, Brazil jump to the first place in the group, with three points, ahead of their showdown against Spain, where Brazil’s coach Jorge Duenas will face his own country. Meanwhile, Hungary stay at the bottom, with zero points and face a do-or-die game against reigning champions, the ROC, in the third round, a game which will shape their future in the competition.

12:15 JST Hungary pay for poor execution

Hungary are in disarray. They first concede a spin shot from Alexandra do Nascimento, as Brazil were signalled passive play, then Sandra Szollosi-Zacsik throws away an easy pass. Brazil suffer a scare in the following, when influential back Bruna de Paula suffers an injury, which she is able to shake off. But no matter how good you prepare a game, how good your game plan is, failing to execute it will only set you back in crucial moments. Hungary froze in some moments and handball made them pay. Turning the ball over 10 times is no way to win a game.

A loss today would be devastating for Hungary’s hopes at Tokyo 2020, having already lost against France in the first game. Yet, the European side have only been constant for four minutes, in the start of the game and this is not enough for an Olympic Games match.

Right now, Brazil are cruising, leading 28:20 with 10 minutes to go and are looking like very tough opponents in this group, where they were considered huge underdogs.

12:02 JST This is Brazil’s game to lose

Hungary’s back line has been on and off in this game, scoring only nine goals out of 20 shots. And the feeling is that this game is slipping away from them, having scored their first goal in the second half after four minutes and one second. There is something about Brazil’s performance that broadcasts a feeling of reliability and assurance, as they are still holding a 21:16 lead, with 21 minutes to go.

Yet, this is handball and anything can happen in any given game. Hungary are by no means pushovers, yet they need something more from Noemi Hafra and Katrin Klujber, who have been non-factors up until this point. For the moment, coach Gabor Elek relies on experienced players, like Zita Szucsanszki and Sandra Szollosi-Zacsik in the back line.

On the other hand, Brazil’s Duda Amorim is on a mission, scoring Brazil’s first three goals in the second half. After failing to score in the first game, she has now put six past Hungary!

11:37 JST HALF-TIME Brazil vs Hungary 17:11

It’s all Brazil right now and there is nothing Hungary can do to stop it. Hungarian co-coach Gabor Elek called the second time-out for his side in the first half, a clear sign of their woes in attack. It’s almost unbelievable that Hungary scored four times in the first four minutes and could only muster seven goals in the other 26 minutes of the first half. Sure, Brazil’s goalkeeper Barbara Arenhart was really superb here, saving eight shots for a 44% saving efficiency. But Hungary really miss a beat in attack and it is probably down to centre back Aniko Kovacsics being injured in a training session on Monday.

Brazil had the occasional mishaps in attack, but it is all about experience, with Ana Paula Belo leading the way in attack, scoring four goals out of four shots, while Alexandra do Nascimento and Duda Amorim chimed in with three goals each. Apart from the goalkeeper’s saves, Hungary have really not showed up in defence either and it will be interesting to see what the second half brings. Right now, Brazil are cruising here and boast a 17:11 lead.

11:22 JST Let’s go to Brazil!

You might think that our featured player in the main picture of this running coverage is Brazilian, “Vamos” being a renowned word in Spanish or Portuguese, with a double meaning, “Come on” or “Let’s go to”. But no, Hungary’s Petra Vamos, the 20-year-old centre back has enjoyed a bright start at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, scoring seven times against France. She has also been brought into the fray now to try and spark the Hungarian attack, who was unable to score a goal for seven minutes and five seconds, as Brazil jumped to a 7:4 lead, after a 5:0 run.

But Hungary cannot find the way to Brazil’s goal, as the South American shot stopper, Barbara Arenhart, means business, saving four shots in a row to boost her saving efficiency to 50%. Hungary’s attacking efficiency dipped to 38%, while Brazil have converted 60% of their shots, the perfect reason for the score on display after 19 minutes, 9:6. With a time-out taken by coach Gabor Elek, Hungary will hope to bounce back, as they scored only twice in the last 14 minutes.

11:11 JST On the wings of joy

Six of the first seven goals in this game have been scored by wings, with Hungary’s Nadine Schatzl and Brazil’s Alexandra do Nascimento each scoring twice in the first six minutes. After a strong start, where they scored four goals in the first four minutes, Hungary are having a bit of trouble in attack, as Brazil amped up their defence. Who is responsible for this? Eduarda Amorim, who has been plying her trade at club level in Hungary, at Gyor, since 2009, before joining Rostov-Don this summer.

At their sixth Olympic Games in history, a performance shared by only five other teams, Brazil have been one of the feel-good stories, with very good displays up until this point. After the draw with the ROC, they bounced back admirably after a slow start, answering with a 4:0 run that prompted them to take the lead, 5:4. And Duda Amorim just scored her first goal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, after an underwhelming start in attack against the ROC team.

10:50 JST Hungary eye milestone at Olympic Games

Group A just surprised everyone, with hosts Japan securing their second-ever win in the Olympic Games (29:26), against Montenegro.

Now for a more established nation in the competition, Hungary, who can win their 20th game at the Olympic Games, provided they beat Brazil in this game. Only three teams won more games in the competition, the Republic of Korea (35), Norway (34) and France (21).

But how will Hungary cope against Brazil? For starters, they will miss influential centre back Aniko Kovacsics, who had another injury at her previously hurt shoulder, rendering her unable to play in the next games at the Olympic Games. In the first round of the competition, Hungary lost to France 28:29, while Brazil showed a positive display against the ROC, earning a draw, 24:24, with goalkeeper Barbara Arenhart stating "from now on we just want to go for more. We showed to ourselves that we can fight equally with everyone.”

Tune in at 11:00 JST for another interesting game, which will throw off the second round of Group B.



Ein Beitrag geteilt von IHF (@ihf.official)


10:45 JST Ready to start round 2 in Group B

Round 1 of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 women’s handball tournament was marked by a surprise 24:24 draw earned by Brazil against the reigning Olympic champions, the ROC.

The ROC side will be facing another sturdy challenge on Tuesday, as group leaders Sweden will be aiming to build upon their clear win against Spain and make it two out of two.

Another European crunch clash sees France facing Spain, with the French side trying to secure their second win in a row, after the narrow one against Hungary. Another loss could prove devastating for Spain’s hopes of a medal at Tokyo.

Hungary are also aiming for a win against Brazil, but the South American side proved to be a tough challenge in the first match, earning a superb draw against the ROC team. Can the Hungarian seal their first win in the competition?

You can find out more about Group B by clicking here. 

All the latest info regarding statistics and standings can be found in our page dedicated to the women’s tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.