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Date: 7/16/2008

European sides among themselves: Russia, France, Serbia and Denmark will play Friday's semi-finals at the II Women's Youth World Championship in Slovak capital of Bratislava.


In Main Round Group MI Denmark overcame host Slovakia. Despite desperate support from the home crowd and a bold performance by the Slovak girls, Denmark were eager to progress and did what they had to do. The match was well-balanced until 6:6 on minute '19. Then Denmark rushed ahead to score 8 goals in a row and to reach a 14:6 half-time score. In the second half the Slovakia side fought bravely but could not change anything. Denmark earned a well deserved 8-goal win with both keepers in excellent shape (both attained more than 50%) and had to wait the outcome of the second match between unbeaten Russians and Asia side Korea, which turned out to be another high-quality handball show. The Koreans knew they had to win and that's how they proceeded. Russia was not in a hurry. In the first half they soared to a three-goal lead but quick Koreans did not give up to equalise to a 12:12. The match proved a real touch of class. Quick and fast paced actions, however, the Russians maintained the upper hand to reach the semi-finals without a single defeat.


In Group MII the two qualifiers met and Serbia proved their excellent shape again. They showed a very good defence, which caused major problems to the French attackers. Furthermore they could not eliminate pivot Dragana Cvijic, who scored 8 goals to become her side's top scorer. The French girls will analyse their faults carefully to be well prepared for their semi-final against Russia. Serbia's high-quality game will challenge the Danes on Friday.


The last match day of the placement round established the fixtures for Saturday's placement matches. Top-ranked Netherlands and Brazil, which earned a trouble-free win over Argentina in the Pan-American derby, will compete for ninth place. You may see the complete schedule under Finals and Placement Matches.