Hungary was once again involved in an exciting contest on Day 2 of the women’s European Championships in Eindhoven, but they were once again left empty-handed after a 14-11 defeat to the hosts and World Champions, the Netherlands.
Three other Division 1 teams—Italy, Spain, and Greece—secured their second victories of the tournament with commanding margins, and alongside Netherlands secured their automatic qualification to the quarter-finals.
While the bulk of the group stage games have been largely uncompetitive, the most anticipated fixtures lie ahead. Tomorrow, undefeated sides will face off as Spain takes on Italy, and Greece battles the Dutch.
The situation is similar in Division 2.
Four teams—Serbia and Czechia (both in Group C), and Germany and Great Britain (both in Group D)—maintain a perfect record with two wins from two games. Excitingly, the undefeated teams in each group will go head-to-head tomorrow to determine the leaders of their respective groups.
2024 European Women’s Championships, Day 2
The Netherlands continue to strengthen their position, overcoming Hungary 14-11 in an action-packed contest.
The Dutch never trailed in the game, but the Magyars made life incredibly challenging for the World Champions, who secured the result only with Sabrina van der Sloot’s goal a minute from the end.
Lieke Rogge scored four goals, while the Dutch captain Sabrina van der Sloot netted three.
The Dutch started well, establishing a 5-1 lead into the second quarter. However, the hosts couldn’t shake the Hungarians, who remained within touching distance for the next twenty minutes. Dorottya Szilagyi’s goal in the last period brought Hungary within one score, but back-to-back scores from Van de Kraats, Keuning, Iris Wolves, and Van der Sloot put the game to bed.
Hungary is now without a win in the opening two games. A third defeat tomorrow against Croatia is not likely, but at this stage, the Magyars are off the pace if they want to challenge for the gold medal – they now need to progress further in the competition via the cross-overs.
Greece followed up their big victory against Hungary yesterday with another win, an uncomplicated 23-8 win over Croatia.
While the Croatians initially provided stern resistance in the first period, the Greeks netted the next six scores in the second period to stamp their authority on proceedings. Alexia Kammenou’s team pressed on in the second half, winning by a margin of ten goals. Eleni Elliniadi (Vouliagmeni), Eleni Xenaki (Olympiacos) both reached five goals, while Eleftheria Plevritou (Olympiacos) found four goals.
A quick start for the Setterosa set them in good stead to win their second game of the European Championships, outscoring France 12-6.
Neither side played well, but the Italian attack was far more potent, with the goal scoring spread evenly amongst the roster. Roberta Bianconi scored three, supported by double-strikes from Galardi, Avegno and Giustini.
After two tough games, France are yet to show their best. Their best player today was probably their keeper, Mia Rycraw – who made 12 saves – which tells its own story.
France and Israel, each without a win, face each other tomorrow to avoid a potentially problematic cross-over encounter.
Spain tore Israel apart in the last game of the day (22-7).
The reigning European Champions showed the gulf in quality between to two sides right from the get-go. Miki Oca’s side put away ten scores in the first half, spearheaded by a Judith Forca hat-trick. Only a Maria Bogachenko penalty in the third quarter spared Israel’s blushes of a potential 8-0 quarter. Twelve more goals in the second half reflected the Spanish dominance.
Bea Ortiz hit five scores in the match; Paula Camus netted four; Judith Forca scored three; with both Ruiz sisters (Elena and Ariadne), Isabel Piralkova and Paula Leiton scoring two.
Czechia held off a late Turkish resurgence to secure another three points in Group C. The Czech Republic seemed poised for victory, leading 9-5 heading into the last quarter. An inspiring hat-trick from Turkey’s Kubra Kus , however, propelled her team to a magnificent comeback, leveling the score at 9-9 with just over ninety seconds to play.
However, in the end, the Czechs made Turkey pay courtesy of Rozalie Fugnerova’s extra-player score. It was a lack of guile throughout the game from Turkey that likely cost them anything from the match, with Evangelos Pateros’ team givign away too many exclusions, and failing to convert any of their own six man-up opportunities. Josefina Hola followed up her first-class display against Romania with three more goals today.
Czechia will battle with Serbia tomorrow with a place at the summit of the group at stake, after the Serbs got the job done against Romania, 15-4.
Dragana Ivkovic’s side won each quarter comfortably to secure back-to-back victories at thePieter van de Hoogenband swimming pool, with Nika Ratkovic and Ana Milicevic being Serbia’s hat-trick heroes in the match.
As expected, Great Britain and Germany will battle tomorrow for the top spot in Group D after both teams secured their second victories this morning.
Great Britain’s match against Bulgaria was a cakewalk (19-6), featuring a 5-1 first quarter and a 6-1 second quarter, putting the game to bed long before the final whistle. Toula Falvey (Sant Feliu) contributed well with a game-high five goals, while Katy Cutler (Bogliasco 1951) scored four, three of which came in the second period.
Germany had to work extremely hard against Slovakia but managed to secure a 12-10 victory, with their captain, Belen Vosseberg, adding another five goals to her tournament tally – which currently sits at a healthy 11 goals.
With one eye on the bigger picture, the winner of Group D will face either France or Israel—a tough task. However, if either side could somehow find a way to win that match, they would secure an enormously impressive (and suprising) top-eight finish.
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