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News Details

Date: 3/19/2016

After their wins on the opening day of the IHF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Astrakhan, Russia, Sweden and hosts Russia know another win will seal their passage to South America and Rio 2016 in August at the expense of Poland and Mexico.

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Poland vs Sweden – Sport Arena Zvezdny, Astrakhan, Russia
Saturday 19 March, 16.00 hrs (local time)

Poland and Sweden face each other in a re-match of their Preliminary Round - Group B match at the 2015 IHF Women’s World Championship in Denmark back in early December 2015 which Sweden won 31:30, but were actually two goals up with just a few seconds left.

CSM Bucuresti’s Isabelle Gulden scored six goals in that game and the centre back will be hoping to be amongst the scorers again to add to her four in Sweden’s opening 41:20 win against Mexico yesterday (Friday 18 March) where they registered 55 shots at target with a 75% success rate (41 goals).

Sweden are ably supported by the double defensive wall of goalkeepers Filippa Idehn and Johanna Bundsen who have a 45% and 44% save percentage between them.

If Sweden win, they are in a strong position for Rio, while a loss for Poland means they will be unable to qualify through to South America.

Kim Rasmussen’s side will be hoping to get the win and two points to blow open the race for the Olympics and after their disappointing two-goal loss to Russia will look to Patrycja Kulwinska and Monika Kobylinska to lead the scoring and hope that the influential Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc has a more unrestricted role than she did against Russia where the normally prolific left back could only manage two goals.

Russia vs Mexico – Sport Arena Zvezdny, Astrakhan, Russia
Saturday 19 March, 18.30 hrs (local time)

In what should be a straightforward win for the host nation, the Russia vs Mexico match on paper promises a one-sided affair, but the central American side more than carried their own in their opening matching against Sweden where they stayed in contact with the Scandinavians well into the depths of the first half.

Led by eight-goal striker Iztel Aguirre Gallegos – also top-scorer of the tournament to date, Mexico will be hoping to give a good account of themselves in what will arguably be their strongest opponent in the group.

A loss means they will be out of the race for Rio, whilst a win for Russia means that they have qualified with two wins from two games.

Best player of the match Anna Vyakhireva, influential in the 27:25 win over Poland with seven goals, will again lead her time who will hope that they face a tired Mexican side who gave their all against the Swedes.

As the second game of the day, the Russians know that if they win, the pressure will be off of them ahead of their final match against Sweden tomorrow (Sunday 20 March) and if Sweden overcome Poland in the opening match then that final match up will be to decided who finished first or second in their group.

For further information on the Rio 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament in Astrakhan, visit the Handball Federation of Russia mini-site HERE.

You can also follow the events from Russia on Twitter (@rushandball), Facebook (rushandball.ru) and Instagram (@rushandball).