09/12/2014

Dmitrieva's flawless debut

NEWS REPORT: 19-year-old Daria Dmitrieva was top scorer of the match and best player for Russia in her first official international on Sunday
  • Photo: Uros Hocevar

Russia's youngest player could not have hoped for a better debut.

In her first official international match Daria Dmitrieva was a key factor in her team's thrilling 29:29-draw against Hungary in Group A on Sunday, was the top scorer for the match and received the award for best player for her side.

At just 19 years old, Dmitrieva is the youngest on the Russian team by five years, which the Dinamo-Sinara centre back says gives her extra responsibility.

She handles the responsibility well though, contributing seven goals on Sunday.

Drawn in a group alongside EHF EURO 2014 co-hosts Hungary, in-form Spain and unpredictable Poland, Russia did not enter the tournament as obvious group favourites.

But when they stepped on the court for Sunday's opening match against Hungary, they turned out to be a real contender.

Dmitrieva wasted no time showing she is already a vital part of the Russian side, scoring their first goal of the match.

"On Sunday we played very well in defence. Attack was good; we moved well and played quickly," said Dmitrieva.

"Next we play Spain and then Poland. We want to go to the main round, but we know it will be hard."

Even with the pressure of the tournament and the added responsibility that comes with being the youngest, Dmitrieva is enjoying the experience so far in Hungary.

"It's my first adult tournament for the national team, so it's great."

As for the challenge of playing against hosts Hungary in the handball-mad city of Györ, Dmitrieva says the atmosphere helps her performance.

"It was loud and in the end the Hungarian supporters were sad, but it was good for me. As a team and for me personally it is better when there are lots of supporters."

Russia will meet Spain for their second round Group A match on Tuesday.

written by Courtney Gahan / ts

Photos

Group A: Spain vs. Poland