Fantastic Romania cruise to main round with emphatic win against Serbia

03 Dec. 2023

Fantastic Romania cruise to main round with emphatic win against Serbia

A strong start of the match saw Romania make it two out of two at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, as the European side clinched a main round berth with their 37:28 commanding win against Serbia.

Romania vs Serbia 37:28 (19:13)

After a 44-goal outing against Chile in the first match, which saw Romania topping the charts for the largest number of goals scored at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, Florentin Pera’s side was focusing on the match against Serbia, their first real test in the competition, as their counterparts provided a huge scare for Denmark, conceding a 21:25 loss, after leading by two goals, 19:17, with 10 minutes to go.

But in that game, Serbia did provide a sturdy defence, hampering Denmark’s efforts, which was not the case in the first half of their second match at the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship, with Romania running the show in attack for most of the first 30 minutes.

As Serbia’s defence stood idly by, Romania needed only 21 minutes to score 17 goals, exactly how many Serbia conceded against Denmark in 50 minutes. Chief responsibles of that were Sonia Seraficeanu and Eliza Buceschi, who combined for eight goals in that span, with right wing Seraficeanu displaying a 100% efficiency, with strong shots.

It was only after Serbia changed their goalkeepers, with Molli Kubina replacing Marija Čolić, that they started to get some more help in defence, with Romania putting only two goals past their opponents in the last eight minutes and 51 seconds of the first half.

Still, Romania, which led by as many as eight goals in the first half, boasted a six-goal lead at the break, 19:13, being in a comfortable position to secure their main round berth with their second win in as many matches.

Bar from a weak start of the second half, when Serbia’s defence looked stronger and managed to stop Romania’s attack, Romania did control the match. Florentin Pera’s side looked calm and composed even when Serbia cut the gap to three goals, 22:19, going on a 4:0 unanswered run between the 39th and the 43rd minute, which proved to be decisive.

That four-minute run without a goal from Serbia proved to be the pivotal moment of the match, prompting a team time-out from coach Uros Bregar, but it was too little, too late, as Romania proved too strong in the end, even without Cristina Neagu, still sidelined by an injury.

Instead, Eliza Buceschi (eight goals) and Sonia Seraficeanu (seven goals) were Romania’s top scorers, while Serbia’s attack paid the price for too many turnovers – 14 as opposed to Romania’s four – with the gap ballooning to nine goals at the final whistle, 37:28.

Starting the IHF Women’s World Championship for the second edition in a row with two wins, Romania made it to the main round and will now face Denmark in the last match, as the winner will take the maximum number of points, four, into the next phase of the competition.

For Serbia, only the main round berth is the objective now, as they face Chile in the last match, as losing against Denmark and Romania in their first two matches will likely see them start with zero points, provided they clinch the win against the South American team in the last match.

hummel Player of the Match: Eliza Buceschi (Romania)