02 Dec. 2019
There was little question who would take the two points in the opening match of round 2 for Group A at the 24th IHF Women’s World Championship, as Serbia took control versus Cuba immediately and held a decisive lead of 14 goals at half-time. In the end, the European side collected a clear victory that took them to two points on the table, while Cuba remained on zero following two losses.
Cuba vs Serbia 27:46 (11:25)
It took more than eight minutes for Cuba to find the goal for the first time, at which point Serbia had already struck eight times. With such an early deficit, it was immediately clear that Cuba were facing a challenging task.
By the end of the first quarter, Serbia had built a 12:3 advantage and at the end of the period they took a 25:11 lead into they break. There was little doubt the two points were decided but Cuba fought hard and reached a reasonable number of goals of their own, showing that it was not their attack that was outmatched by Serbia’s defence. However, their own defence could not slow the European side’s onslaught of goals.
Coming into goal towards the 20-minute mark, Cuba keeper Niurkis Mora Arias had a strong game, with 14 saves that helped her side avoid a more decisive defeat. At the other end of the court, Serbia keeper Jovana Risovic had the same number of saves.
Serbia were led in attack by three players tallying six goals. The fact that they were line player Sladana Pop-Lazic and wings Sanja Radosavljevic and Ana Kojic showed that Cuba’s defence was quite successful in controlling the back court. They were not so strong in preventing fast breaks however, and Serbia scored a total of 16 on the run.
The outcome was decided long before the final whistle, when Serbia celebrated their second win while Cuba settled for their second loss.
hummel Player of the Match: Niurkis Mora Arias, Cuba