Switzerland seal quarter-final berth after hard-fought win over Romania

23 Jun. 2024

Switzerland seal quarter-final berth after hard-fought win over Romania

In an exciting match, Switzerland registered their fourth straight victory at North Macedonia 2024, this time against Romania, 27:26, sealing a quarter-finals berth for the second consecutive time at the IHF Women's Junior World Championship.

This result means than both Switzerland and Netherlands are already be certain of a quarter-final spot, while Romania will go to the placement matches 9-16. 

Switzerland vs Romania 27:26 (15:12)

Romania enjoyed a better start of the match, as the goals from wings Mariam-Nadia Mohamed and Costinela-Beatrice Raicea put them into a 2:0 lead before Emma Bächtiger scored first Switzerland's goal of the day in the sixth minute. 

Switzerland soon woke up and felt more confident, and they enjoyed a 4:0 run, spurred by goals from Nuria Bucher and Alessia Riner, which secured them a 6:4 lead. But Romania responded with their own 4:0 run, turning the score into 8:4 in the 20th minute,

So the pendulum swung both ways, but it was Switzerland who enjoyed a good spell and carried a three-goal lead into the break, 15:12, as goalkeeper Claire Hartz provided some important saves. Yet Romania, who needed a win to stay in fight for a quarter-final berth, did not throw out a white flag, hoping to turn things around in the second half.

However, it was not easy for them to break down the well-organized Swiss defence, as even centre back Alisia Boiciuc, Romania's top scorer at the group stage, missed a few shots and could not find the net until late in the game. Switzerland continued to lead after the break, mostly by two or three goals, as Riner continued to shine in attack, ending the game with eight goals.

With six minutes to go, the Switzerland pulled clear by four goals, 26:22, but Romania nearly made a comeback. Boiciuc finally scored two goals as well as set up a few others, and the Romanians slashed the gap to 26:27 with one minute to go.

Then Bucher's penalty was saved, and Sev Albrecht hit the post with the follow-up shot, so Romania got a chance to draw level in a counterattack. But they failed to score, and the Swiss players jumped for joy, as they had a reason to celebrate, securing a place among the top eight teams in the second straight IHF Women's Junior World Championship. 

Subsequently, the Netherlands, which also secured four wins in their four matches, qualified for the quarter-finals, with the two group leaders progressing to the next phase before facing off in the match which will decide the group winner on Tuesday.

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Alicia Boiciuc (Romania)