Last-gasp save helps Chile close Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023 with second win

13 Dec. 2023

Last-gasp save helps Chile close Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023 with second win

A well-balanced game, full of comebacks, was decided in the last moment of the game, as Chilean goalkeeper Madeleine Noelia Cortez Fuenzalida secured a narrow 26:25 win against People's Republic of China with a last-second save.

President's Cup
Placement Match 27/28
People's Republic of China vs Chile 25:26 (13:15)

The first half of the Placement Match 27/28 was full of twists and turns. Chile were off to a good start in the first seven minutes, taking a two-goal lead. However, the People's Republic of China turned the tide with the help of goalkeeper Chang Lu, as a 3:0 run turned the game on its head and saw the Asian side take a 7:5 lead only four minutes later.

Chile were without a goalkeeper save for 16 minutes and only when the second goalkeeper, Madeleine Noelia Cortez Fuenzalida, came between the posts, the South American side lifted their game and narrowed the gap. First, they tied the score (9:9) and transformed it into a 4:0 goal run, as right wing Gabriela Belén Müller Ruiz set an 11:9 lead for them.

China felt like they were losing grip and after a one-minute break, they bounced back to tie the result once again and they almost went to a break with a one-goal deficit but, Maura Andrea Álvarez Gyllen scored beautifully from a free throw at the end of the first half, setting a 15:13 scoreline with 30 minutes to go.

The second half did not disappoint either. After 12 minutes of play, the fruits of China's labour were finally seen as Mengqing Jon scored for 19:18, their first lead after more than 25 minutes. From that moment on, teams started trading leads up until the last five moments of the match when the score was still tied, 24:24.

A nice goal by Francisca Parra Parra, followed by two important Madeleine Noelia Cortez Fuenzalida saves gave Chile a new chance to finish Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023 with a win. Yet China did not let go easily, and scored for a one-goal deficit 50 seconds before the buzzer and delivered a man-to-man defence, forcing Chile to make a mistake. They succeeded and had a chance for a draw as Chile had an empty goal, but Fuenzalida ran back on time and stopped China's last try.

Chile closed their second-ever appearance at the IHF Women's World Championship on a positive note, securing the 27th place, after finishing 23rd in their debut, in 2009. On the other hand, the Asian side finished 28th, an uptick of four places from Spain 2021.

hummel Player of the Match: Xiaoqing Li (People's Republic of China)