11 Oct. 2019
Hungary, Brazil, Greece and Spain ended the first day of the ANOC World Beach Games – Qatar 2019 women’s beach handball competition with maximum points each thanks to two wins from their two games each, but it was Argentina and Vietnam who caught the eye today in the 12 matches played in the preliminary round.
Group A: Argentina ones to watch, Hungary and Brazil 100%
2018 World Championship bronze medallists Brazil took on an Argentina side who had beaten them via shoot-out earlier this year at the 2019 South American Beach Games in the opening match of the women’s competition at the Al Gharafa Beach Handball Arena. Argentina had led in the early stages of the first period, but the experienced Brazilians came back to win the first period and then did enough in the second to take a 2-0 victory.
European champions Denmark, led by Frederikke Laerke up front, dispatched Tunisia 2-0 comfortably in their first match in Doha, while Hungary had little trouble against the USA (2-0) to end the morning session for group A.
Hungary’s second game of the day, in the evening session, was a similar encounter to the USA match earlier, as the Europeans downed the African champions 2-0. It could have been so much different for the US side in their second match as they had a chance to win a tight first period with the golden goal, after Brazil had missed the first opportunity.
However, the Americans could not capitalise, and their opponents were not going to turn down the chance again. The second period saw America heavily beaten as they failed to be as effective in front of goal as they were in the first.
A real upset occurred in the third match of second group A session with Argentina beating Denmark 2-0 after a tight first period. The second period was tight until the last few moments until the Danes deficit was too much to overcome.
Group B: World champions not tested, Vietnam nearly cause double European upset
2018 world champions Greece brushed aside the Asian champions China comprehensively in their opening match with a 2-0 win, while Poland clawed back an Australian lead early on to win by the same score against the Oceanian side.
However, court one was where the potential upset was happening as 2016 world champions Spain, saw a complete turnaround in the periods against Vietnam, winning the first easily and then the Asian runners-up winning the second easily. Vietnam are only in Doha as a replacement nation for Qatar and they nearly caused an upset before eventually losing 2-1 after a shoot-out defeat.
China were handed their second comprehensive loss of the day in the evening session of group B, losing 2-0 to Spain, while Greece’s Eleni Mournou guided her team through a tense first period against Australia to a more straightforward second, to win 2-0 and end with a 100% record on the first day.
But Vietnam were again the team to watch in the group B session as the first period in their clash against Poland saw a frantic end to a drawn first period (20:20) with Poland quick on the restart to smash home their golden goal.
However, Vietnam came back strongly in the second period to ensure a dominant 10 minutes in which they comfortably sailed to a win and a shoot-out to decide who won, and it was the Asian side who were celebrating at the end after their pivot Huyen Dam Thi Thanh had experienced the full range of emotions, first of all saving an attempted Polish lob shot, making another save and then being shown a red card for impeding the attacker.
After a poor attempt from Poland’s Paula Mazurek was saved by Vietnam’s goalkeeper Huyen Nguyen Thanh, centre back Huong Nguyen Dang Thi scored the solitary point to make it 7:4 and an unassailable lead with Poland’s sadness further compounded as Thanh saved their final attempt.
Women’s Competition: Friday 11 October
Group A: Brazil (BRA), Denmark (DEN), Hungary (HUN), Argentina (ARG), United States of America (USA), Tunisia (TUN)
Group B: Greece (GRE), Spain (ESP), Poland (POL), China (CHN), Australia (AUS), Vietnam (VIE)
BRA vs ARG 2-0 (20:17, 19:16)
DEN vs TUN 2-0 (21:10, 22:16)
HUN vs USA 2-0 (19:10, 20:15)
TUN vs HUN 0-2 (15:18, 10:15)
USA vs BRA 0-2 (16:17, 6:18)
ARG vs DEN 2-0 (11:10, 19:14)
GRE vs CHN 2-0 (29:17, 24:12)
ESP vs VIE 2-1 (23:18, 18:23, SO 8:5)
POL vs AUS 2-0 (15:12, 19:12)
VIE vs POL 2-1 (20:21, 22:16, SO 7:4)
AUS vs GRE 0-2 (16:17, 12:22)
CHN vs ESP 0-2 (13:22, 16:24)