Luanda win high-intensity battle for final ticket

02 Aug. 2019

Luanda win high-intensity battle for final ticket

Agosto Luanda secured their spot in the 2019 IHF Women’s Super Globe final with a hard-earned win after a thrilling, defence-dominated 60 minutes versus A.A. UnC Concordia. The match was on the edge right through until the end, and was decided when Cristiane Mwasesa scored for 19:17 with 70 seconds left.  

Agosto Luanda (ANG) vs A.A. UnC Concordia (BRA) 20:17 (10:7)

It was immediately clear that A.A. UnC Concordia had not played their best game in their quarter-final versus UQ on Thursday, as the Brazilian side showed far greater quality against Agosto Luanda. On the other hand, the African side continued their great form shown in the quarter-final victory over Jiangsu Team. Luanda were stronger through the first half before the Brazilian side pulled the game to level and a close race to the buzzer began. 

It was a match full of intensity and passion – truly worthy of the final berth at stake. Luanda started well, helped significantly by their strong defence and a superb performance from their goalkeeper Eleneidys Lioveras. Lioveras made it very difficult for Concordia to cross the line, and after the Brazilian side added their second goal in the fourth minute, they could not score again until the 16th, at which point Luanda had pulled ahead 6:2. 

It could have been worse for Concordia, had their own defence not been so reliable. Their goalkeeper Maite Lima Dias did not make saves early on, but once she began to do so, she also became a key factor in the game and it was a great contest between the posts. 

After Luanda created a 7:3 advantage off a penalty goal from Cristiane Mwasesa in the 18th minute, it was their turn to face a scoring drought, and Concordia reduced the deficit steadily. It was a critical save from Lioveras that prevented Concordia from equalising and opened the door for her team to pull ahead to a two-goal difference, 8:6 in the 24th, as the Angolan team finally found the goal again. Lioveras finished the first half with eight saves at 53%. 

Luanda took a three-goal advantage into the break, after which Concordia came fighting back and were rewarded with an equal score at 12:12 in the 37th minute. A Luanda time-out settled the team and they moved ahead once more, but their advantage remained narrow. As the last 10 minutes began, the score board showed 16:15 for Luanda, and the difference stayed at just one as the clock passed the 55-minute mark. 

Dias made an important save in the 56th, which could have given her team the chance to equalise – but instead Wuta Dombaxi caught the rebound and pulled Luanda in front by two, 18:16. With 45 seconds left, as Concordia coach Alexandre Trevisan Schneider called his final time-out, the difference stayed at two for the Angolan team. When Concordia lost the ball off an error inside the last 30 seconds, the outcome was decided. 

Players of the match: 
Agosto Luanda: Eleneidys Lioveras
A. A. UnC Concordia: Maite Lima Dias