Ukraine book last main round ticket and send Kazakhstan into President's Cup

03 Dec. 2023

Ukraine book last main round ticket and send Kazakhstan into President's Cup

Both Ukraine and Kazakhstan got into their last preliminary group G with two losses in a row, but it was the European side who progressed into the main round at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, with a 37:24 win against their Asian counterparts. This is the first time since 2005 that Ukraine progressed further from the preliminary round.

Ukraine vs Kazakhstan 37:24 (19:12)

Ukraine had a blistering start to the match and left Kazakhstan without a goal until the fourth minute, as the Asian side struggled in defence, failing to find a solution on both sides of the ball, as Ukraine's left wing Maryna Konovalova scored three goals in a row to bring the European side's lead to 7:2. A quick team time-out was called by Kazakhstan's head coach, Yevgeniy Shishkin, trying to weather the storm.

Kazakhstan did find some path to the goal, but failed to beat Ukraine's goalkeeper, Viktoriia Saltaniuk, who stopped three shots in quick succesion. Instead, Ukraine with right wing Milana Shukal's fifth goal in the game got their hands on their biggest lead so far in the match, 16:9, and kept their seven-goal advantage going into the break.

Sevara Rejmetova and Veronika Khardina's experience was a good plus for Kazakhstan's attack, but the Asian side soon was trailing by ten goals, with the double-digit mark was hit early into the second half as Iuliia Andriichuk netted for 23:13 and further stretched it to +12.

With the victory in the bag, Ukraine's focus dropped, as they were approaching last the minutes of the match. Kazakhstan took advantage and used the opportunity to make a three-goal run and cut the deficit to 23:31.

However, Ukraine found new energy in the moments leading to the end of the match and produced two quick 3:0 runs, propelling themselves to a convincing 37:24 win.

Ukraine joined Spain and Brazil in the main round, where they will face the Netherlands, Czechia and the either Argentina and Congo. However, with a single win in three matches, they are moving to the next phase with zero points, as they have lost against both Spain and Brazil in the first two matches. For the fifth time in their history, Kazakhstan will continue their World Championship journey in the President's Cup.

hummel Player of the Match: Milana Shukal (Ukraine)