Slovenia won the first match of the today’s program at “Jane Sandanski” sports arena, claiming a fully deserved victory over France (30-24). This game was played without much pressure because both teams had already qualified for the European handball championship next year, with Slovenians moving much better in both ofence and defense, winning against the French team which played much worse then two days ago and the victory over
Slovenia was much better team at the beginning of the match, creating an easy three goal lead (4-1). French players managed to come close so 5-4, but then Slovenia took over once again, lifting the lead back to three goals (7-4). Slovenians even had a four goal lead (11-7, 12-8), but France finally got some rhitm in defense, which enabled them to cut the opponent’s lead to just two goals at the end of the half (13-11).
French players wew playing good handball also at the beginning of the second half, dawing the result to 15-15 and 16-16. However, they couldn’t maintain the tempo for too long, because Slovenia was back in the game, playing much better both in offence and defense. At the middle of the second half Slovenia one again built a four goal lead, increasing it to five (22-17) after a fast-break goal from Hana Vucko.
The lead went up to seven goals, France took another timeout, but it didn’t stop the mighty Slovenia player, who had an eight goal lead with eight minutes to go in this match (25-17). The rest of the match was just a formality for both teams, with France scoring a bit more in the final minutes, for a full time score 30-24.
Milan Ramsak (Coach Slovenia)
We played very well in the first half of the championship, but then we had two matches against phisicaly stronger teams Romania and Russia, and we lost both these matches. Today was a different story, we played much better from the very beginning of the match and won by big margin. We are between the best six teams in Europe and I believe this is big success knowing that Slovenia wasn’t part of these championships in the last ten years. We proved that we have quality and hope to build to even bigger success in the future.
Anamarija Baruca (Player Slovenia)
We lost our last two matches, which made us very motivated for today’s match with France. We told ourselves that we must beat the French and prove that our good start was not accidental. We played like a team, this was a very good match and we deserved to fight for the fifth place on Sunday. In the last match I would prefer playing against Croatia.
Roxanne Frank (Player France)
Player France No.1 “I’m very sad because I think that we had a good chance to win, but unfortunately we didn’t use it properly. This game was a hard test of our mentality.”
Christophe Caillabet (Head Coach France)
“We still have the same problem with the shooting efficiency. Today we lack too much patience in the attack, we were shooting too fast without finding a good solution. Our last match with Denmark was better than this one.”