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Date: 5/27/2012

After qualifying for the Olympics already on Saturday, France and Montenegro faced in the prestigious duel for the first position – and Montenegro beat qualification tournament host France at Lyon closely thanks to a strong final stage. The Balkan team took the first position and gained a better base for the draw on Wednesday. Romania finished third ahead of Japan.



Romania vs. Japan 28:26 (18:10)

In a match without meaning for the tickets to London Romania won the game of the question of honour. Both teams had missed the Olympics after two defeats against France and Montenegro – and in the end the Europeans took the third place in Lyon, but more narrow than expected in the end. Romania had controlled the first half and everything seemed to be decided at the half time score of 18:10 after a 6:1 series in the final minutes. But like at the World Championship in Brazil, when Japan took a draw thanks to a great catch-up chase, the Asians again did not surrender. They closed the gap goal by goal – and with five consecutive goals in the final stage in Lyon Japan suddenly had turned the game by leading 23:22 and 24:23. But then the Romanians woke up again and led by their top scorer Mihaela Ani-Senocico (six goals in total) the favoured Europeans took a close victory.  Again Japanese Shio Fujii was the best scorer of the game with seven goals.



France vs. Montenegro 20:22 (9:9)

Montenegro remained with a clear sheet in Lyon and secured the first position after a thrilling match against host France – even as the Balkan team replaced top star Bojana Popovic. Both teams had already secured the ticket to London, but the prestige and the better position in the seeding list were motivation enough for both, who fought hard for the victory. With strong keepers on both sides  - Leynaud and Barjaktarovic - the match was equal for a long time – with little more advantages for Montenegro. The first half ended equal, but the run-down was a roller coaster with intermediate “to-zero”-series of both opponents. And this roller coaster ride continued after the break with constantly changing leads until minute 57, when a double strike of Milena Knezevic (top scorer with in total seven goals) decided the game for Montenegro. Best French scorer was Paule Baudoin with four goals.



Results of previous matches:

Friday 25 May:

Montenegro vs. Japan 30:24 (14:13)

France vs. Romania 24:19 (12:9)

Saturday 26 May:

Romania vs. Montenegro 23:34 (13:17)

Japan vs. France 17:30 (7:13)