Czechia seal important win to start main round on a positive note

06 Dec. 2023

Czechia seal important win to start main round on a positive note

Main Round Group II
Ukraine vs Czechia 23:30 (11:15)

Starting the main round with two points after their win against Argentina, Czechia maintained the desired course, despite a shaky start. Ukraine took a two-goal lead and looked more focused, while their goalkeeper Viktoriia Saltaniuk made Czechia sweat, but after 12 minutes, Bent Dahl's side bounced back and used a cunning seven-on-six attack to take back the lead.

Czechia stretched the gap to 9:6, as the Ukrainian head coach Vitaliy Andronov called for a team time-out. From that moment on, Dahl decided to switch Marketa Jerabkova to left back, but it turned out it was not a good call and Ukraine cut the gap to only one goal, 10:9, as Kateryna Kozak, who turned 21 today, scored and piled on the pressure for Czechia.

However, near the end of the first half, the Ukrainian attack faltered, as their second best scorer in the competition, Iuliia Andrichuck, scored only one goal, with Czechia opening a four-goal gap, 15:11.

The start of the second half saw Ukraine cut the gap to two goals, 18:16, but from that moment on, it was all Czechia. Marketa Jerabkova with nine goals and goalkeeper Sabrina Novotná, who had a 50 per cent save efficiency, stole the show and carried their team to a decisive lead.

Even though 12 out of 14 Ukrainian field players scored at least once, their poorly defensive display stopped any potential comeback. When Veronika Malá scored her sixth in the game and set 29:23, Ukraine were already done and dusted, with Czechia eventually sealing a 30:23 win.

In the next match, Czechia will try to beat 'Las Guerreras' and extend their winning streak, while Ukraine will face another tough challenge against the Netherlands.

hummel Player of the Match: Marketa Jerabkova (Czechia)