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Date: 5/26/2012

After winning their second match at the Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Guadalajara host Spain has opened the gate to the Olympics widely. With four points they lead the ranking ahead of the Netherlands and Croatia (each 2 points). One point against Croatia is already enough to book the ticket to London.



Argentina vs. Croatia 21:31 (10:18)

After the close 28:29 defeat against the Netherlands on match day 1, the Croats grabbed their last chance for the ticket to London. Argentina on the other hand is out of race for the Olympics after their second clear defeat. As expected the Europeans – seventh ranked at the World Championship 2011 in Brazil – were clearly dominant against the runners-up of the Pan-American Olympic Qualification.

The Croats started with a 5:1 and extended the distance easily to eight goals at the break, which meant an early decision. Seven minutes later the gap was ten goals for the first time at 21:11 – a distance, which remained until the end, though the Croats saved powers for the decisive game against Spain on Sunday. Jovetic and Pusic each scored five goals for Croatia, whilst Argentine Luciana Mendoza was the top scorer of the game with seven goals.


Statements after the match:

Vladimir Canjuga, coach Croatia: The match was within the expected terms; my team played a good match. As per the physical aspect, we must win tomorrow against Spain as we have no chance otherwise. We hope the psychological aspect is not a huge trouble for us, as per our loss of yesterday.


Ivana Lovric, player Croatia: The first objective was that all players participate, we are anticipating the match against Spain to see what happens.


Miguel Angel Interllige, coach Argentina: The lack of experience was the key again. We never achieved to make trouble for Croatia, neither in attack nor in defence. About our progression, the sad truth is that there is still a lot of distance to the other teams. We have no chance since we have no elite competition rhythm. We have shown more resources today we are only here to gain experience.


Luciana Mendoza, player Argentina: We had a great start, but we were too slow and non-effective in attack later-on. Croatia played with excellent counter attacks and we didn’t seize the chance to gain advantage on their little failures. The favourite team to go to the London Olympics is Spain, they are very superior to the rest of the teams.




Netherlands vs. Spain 24:28 (13:14)

After their victory against Croatia on day 1 the Netherlands started with boosted confidence and surprised the Spaniards with a clever and movable defence. After 13 minutes the Dutch team was in lead with 7:4, before the Iberians woke up. With four straight goals they took their first lead at 8:7, but could not outdistance the brave fighting Netherlands.

The one goal distance at the break resulted mostly from seven goals by Nely Alberto, who became top scorer with eleven goals in the end, and the again brilliant performance of goalkeeper Silvia Navarro, who saved 13 shots in total.

And the Navarro saves were the key to the superb start of the Spaniards after the break: With five consecutive goals in only six minutes the result was 19:13. The Netherlands did not resign, but reduced again to 20:23 in minute 49 and were close to turn the game at 22:24 seven minutes before the end. But when playmaker Marta Mangue took the responsibility with a double strike the game was decided at 28:23. Abbingh and van der Heijden were the best Dutch scorers with each five goals. The Netherlands have their fate in their hands on match day 3, when they face Argentina (still zero points).


Statements after the match:

Henk Groener, coach Netherlands: Congratulation to Spain on the great match they made. We made a better first half but we couldn’t distance Spain. Despite the result of today, the work on development and the evolution of this team is very positive. Spanish goalkeeper Silvia Navarro was a key factor, but in general all the Spanish players did an excellent job.


Lois Abbingh, player Netherlands: We made a great first half, but we couldn’t stop the Spanish attacks. The psychological factor for us is now very important.


Jorge Dueñas, coach Spain: We won but suffering. We started with a weak attack but we were brilliant in the second half. Despite the four-goal difference we remained wanting more and more and played with ambition.


Begoña Fernandez, player Spain: Netherlands has played a great match, but now we are very happy. They didn’t allow us to lower the intensity in any moment. We will go after our dream tomorrow: to go to the Olympic Games.



Results of Day 1:

Croatia vs. Netherlands 28:29 (12:14)

Spain vs. Argentina 31:15 (15:9)


Match schedule day 3, 27 May:

10:15: Argentina vs. Netherlands

12:30: Spain vs. Croatia