Hungary secure placement match giving Norway first defeat

MATCH REVIEW - Hungary are ready for their fifth spot placement match at the EHF EURO 2014 after a 29:25 win against Norway in Main Round Group I

Photo: Uros Hocevar

Hungary are now ready for their head-to-head match for fifth place, after the closing game in Main Round Group I in the Fönix Hall of Debrecen. They came out on top with a 29:25 win against Norway, who suffered their first defeat of the tournament.

"I can't say anything negative about the match today, because we really put this together. We fought hard. This was the real Hungarian national team," said Hungary's left back Krisztina Triscuk.

While Norway had already qualified for the semi-final, and had already won Group I, Hungary, with a win, could still make their way to Budapest for the fifth place match.

The Norwegian team should probably consider themselves lucky that nothing was at stake for them, as their squad was struck severely by illness.

Both left wingers, Camilla Herrem and Sanna Solberg were too sick to play, and this meant that line player Heidi Loke had to take over the left wing position, something that she was not exactly used to.

She did, however, not stick to the left wing all that much. Time and time again, she moved into the line, where Pernille Wibe was positioned, and that Norwegian attacking tactic with two line players seemed to confuse the Hungarian defence, meaning Norway took an early three-goal lead (4:1).

"I think we had a very good start and we were good in defence and we were running very fast, but in the last ten minutes of the first half we were not very good - not in offence and not in defence," said Heide Loke.

"I think overall we played an OK match. I also have to congratulate Hungary on the victory, they were playing well."

Just like Herrem and Sanna Solberg, both goalkeepers, Silje Solberg and Emily Stang Sando had also been ill ahead of the match, but they both recovered in time to take to court.

Sando guarded the goal, starting really well, but could not keep up with her colleague Eva Kiss in the opposite goal.

With a saving percentage of 39 in the first 30 minutes, she played her part in Hungary swinging the game in their momentum in the final parts of the first half.

This was also helped by more inventive Hungarian attacking play, led by two brilliant playmakers. First, the 18-year-old Gabriella Toth gave a stellar performance moving forward, and, second, Bernadett Temes was repeatedly asking difficult questions of the Norwegian defence.

They were the reason why Hungary managed to score the last seven goals of the first half, rocketing them into a 15:11 lead at half time.

From the start of the second half, Toth came on again, and that definitely did nothing to damage the hosts' attacking efficiency.

On the contrary, not only was she good at setting up the Hungarian attack, she was also dangerous on her own, scoring four goals from four attempts.

Towards the end, Hungary proved that they have quite a number of playmakers even in the light of pregnant Anita Görbizc's absence, as Zita Szucsanszki became the third player to take to the court in that position.

Norway tried both Stine Oftedal and Veronica Kristiansen on the left wing moving Heidi Loke back in her normal position on the line, but none of the solutions could prevent the Hungarian win.

Loke was crowned her team's best player netting six goals, while Eva Kiss' saving percentage of 37 earned her the same honour with Hungary.

written by Peter Bruun / ts


Group D: Montenegro vs. France