Hungarian hopes come back to life

25 Jul. 2010

Hungarian hopes come back to life

After losing against Russia Hungary took their first victory in Gwangju by beating strong Swedish team. Thanks to this close victory Hungary still can reach the semi finals. Norway took a clear victory against Croatia  - which had no importance, as the still spotless European Champion was qualified for the semis before.

Main Round group I:

Croatia – Norway 30:36 (14:22)

Though they had already been qualified for the semi finals the Norwegian express was unstoppable again, at least for 40 minutes. By defeating Croatia in an absolute dominant way except the final stage the Norwegians took the lead again in group I with eight points, equal to Korea but with a much better goal difference. On Tuesday both teams meet for the clash of the titans to decide about number one and tow in this group. Croatia (remaining with one point) didn’t have any means to stop Norway after losing their second Main Round match, but they fought hard to keep the gap small. The European Champion stood strong in defense, and used their opportunities for interceptions and counter attacks. Aside they were dangerous from all positions in the built-up attacks Norway scored a ten goals lead even in the middle of first half – and kept it nearly until the end of a one-sided match, even as they lacked concentration in the final stage, as the winner had been clear long before. Croatia reduced the gap by their strong will and fighting spirit. In the form of the first 40 minutes Norway is the favourite against Korea – and maybe for the whole WCH tournament. Top scorers were Kristianssen (Norway/8) and milic (Croatia/7). “It was our objective that if we lose we want lose with a small distance. And my expectations were fulfilled, as the team followed my tactical instructions. I believe, we’ll see a final between Norway and Korea,” Croatian coach Mato Matijevic said. And player Marija Milic added: “It was the main objective of our young team to reach the Main Round. Now we can learn a lot and improve against those strong opponents.” In the match against Serbia the Croats want to finish the Main Round with a victory. Norwegian head coach Tom Morten Svendssen said: “We wanted to win this match, even as we had been qualified for the semis before.  I’m glad, as a victory is a victory. For 30 minutes we showed all our strength and in the end we lost some concentration.”

Main Round group II:

Sweden – Hungary 25:28 (14:16)

The decision about the two semi finalists in group II will be taken on the last match day. Thanks to their close and high-tensioned victory against Sweden Hungary added to points to their account and have the fate in their own hands on Tuesday. With now five points the runners-up of the European Championship 2009 is one point below Montenegro – and meet the current leader in the direct duel on the last match day. But then they need a victory against the Balkan team. Like Brazil before, Sweden is out of the race for the semi finals with still two points.

Hungary seemed to be still shocked of the close defeat against Russia the day before – and Sweden took the profit, as they very close to the favorite the whole match. The first half was absolutely equal, the only two goals lead for Hungary was right before the break. The second half started with the strongest Swedish period, as the Northern Europeans took the lead and secured it until the 20:18. Later on Hungary scored four consecutive goals and turned the game again, but Sweden fought hard and equalized at the score of 25:25 – the sensation was close, but thanks to a 3:0 series Hungary decided the match in the very last minutes.  Top scorers were Hagman (Sweden) and Kovacsics (Hungary) with each six goals.