07 Dec. 2023
For the second time ever, the People's Republic of China managed to beat Paraguay and claimed a 23:20 win in the first clash of the President's Cup Group I match in Frederikshavn, as they stopped a seven-match losing streak at the IHF Women's World Championship.
President’s Cup Group I
People's Republic of China vs Paraguay 23:20 (9:10)
China had a fiery start to the game, setting a 3:1 lead, as the connection between centre back Mengqing Jin and line player Lei Gong constantly made Paraguay's defence sweat. Instead of keeping the same course, a series of turnovers stopped the Asian side in their tracks and left them without a goal for eight straight minutes, with the game turning on its head.
Fernanda Insfran Mora, Paraguay's top scorer at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 20203, and Maria Fernandez Estigarribia stepped up a gear and put Paraguay on the correct path, helping with a 3:0 unanswered run, as Insfran and Fernandez combined for eight of Paraguay's ten goals at the break.
The second half brought a storming performance of China. Goalkeeper Yunuo Hu started making saves and on that point, China transformed their three-goal deficit, 10:13, into a 16:14 lead with a 6:1 run, prompting a Paraguay team time-out.
The South American side managed to tie the score after that break, with the help of Jazmin Mendoza Peralta, but their turnovers were decisive for China's new break. With pressure mounting on both sides, turnovers were recorded, but it was China who eventually sealed the win, 23:20, their first since Japan 2019, when they won against Australia in the Placement Match 23/24.
Mengqing Jin led with six goals, being one of the keys to this first win in four years. Maria Fernandez Estigarribia remained Paraguay's top scorer, earning the hummel Player of the Match award. The next President's Cup Group I round will see China in the clash with Greenland, while Paraguay will seek their first win against Iceland in two days' time.
hummel Player of the Match: Maria Fernandez Estigarribia (Paraguay)