Oden secures one point for Sweden

MATCH REVIEW: A thrilling encounter in the Group C match between Sweden and Netherlands ended in a deserved 30:30 draw

Photo: Henk Seppen

Sweden survived numerous defensive black-outs for Ida Oden to score the game-tying goal in the dying moments of Wednesday's match against Netherlands, splitting the two points between the teams.

For the first time in their 11 direct encounters the match between Netherlands and Sweden found no winning side. It was also the highest scoring game ever between these two rivals.

With both teams now on three points, only a draw between Croatia and Germany in Wednesday's later Group C game could endanger the passage of both teams to the main round.

"It was a game with many faces. It was tough for us to fight and get back in the game and that's why we are happy with the point," said Sweden's coach Thomas Sivertsson.

Netherlands had a nightmare start to the game. Sweden's barelegged goalkeeping phenomenon Filippa Idehn saved their first two shots, the third one was stopped by her left post and the fourth missed the goal completely.

Meanwhile Sweden carried out an offensive onslaught to quickly build a 3:0 lead.

The Dutch players had to wait almost six minutes for their first goal, before Laura Van der Heiden put the Oranje on the board, scoring five goals within 10 minutes.

"I do not think that we need a bad start to make a good match, I do not know whether we are not stable enough or that we are not awake but we need to get woken up and then we can fight," said Dutch goalkeeper Tess Wester.

One Oranje goal after another broke through Sweden's defence as goalkeeper Tess Wester made numerous saves that allowed the Netherlands to quickly turn the table, justifying the coach's decision to keep the 21-year-old youngster in the EHF EURO team.

With eight minutes until the end of the first half Netherlands led 11:6. But left back Jenny Alm then launched a Swedish rally with her 100th goal for the national team.

At the same time Idehn, who had barely touched the ball for 15 minutes, added two important saves.

Toward the end of the half Swedish coaching duo Thomas Sivertsson and Helle Thomsen were proven correct in their decision to place Louise Sand on the left wing.

Sand, who is one of the shortest players of the tournament, levelled the score two minutes before the break (14:14 at half-time) and performed very well in defence.

Early in the second half the Dutch scored a run of goals led by red-hot Estavana Polman.

Nycke Groot, who was later announced the best player of her team, took advantage of Sweden's risky play with an extra attacking player and no goalkeeper, scoring into the empty net.

After their series of goals it seemed Netherlands were running out of steam and Sweden, who rotated players more frequently, took the lead.

They held it only for a brief period though, as Polman chipped in her tenth of the game for another Netherlands two-goal lead.

The Oranje had the ball in their hands in the last minute and were one goal up, but were unable to secure the win with another goal.

In the last attack Ida Oden's shot levelled the score, winning a point for Sweden and the best player award for her.

written by Vladislav Brindzak / cg / ts


MR II: Sweden vs. Montenegro