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Date: 8/9/2018
 

The second round of group C matches at the 2018 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship saw Russia beat China by 15 goals (32:17), Norway win the European battle against Netherlands 34:25 and Japan get their first win, defeating Argentina 26:23.

Preliminary Group C: Thursday 9 August 2018

China vs Russia 17:32 (11:16)
Up until just after five minutes into the second half, China were keeping relatively in touch with their opponents Russia (18:13 down), but the world youth championship title-holders stepped up their attack - and defence - to push ahead over the following 13 minutes (49th), going in front 25:13 to ensure their second win at Poland 2018.

Leading by just five at the break, the European side had been in danger of being caught after they conceded four seven-metre penalties in the opening half, with Mengxue Zhou converting them to keep her side in contention after Russia had raced to a 5:1 lead in the first seven minutes.

In fact, that Russian run could have been 10:0 had it not been for Zhou's two seven-metre strikes in the middle of it, but with 22 technical faults from her Chinese side and just a 35% strike rate it is clear what needs improving.

This was in contrast to the Russians who converted two-thirds of their shots into goals as they look ready-made to progress through to the eighth-finals.

"We are very glad that we won but it wasn’t our best game," said Russia's coach Liubov Sidoricheva after the match. "We did much better than our previous match [against Argentina] but before our next games we definitely have to boost our defence."

Best players of the match: Mengxue ZHOU (CHN), Ekaterina LEVCHINA (RUS)

Netherlands vs Norway 25:34 (13:19)

"I don’t think that we lost concentration at the beginning of the match - Norway were just better," said Netherlands' head coach Ricardo Clarijs after he saw his side lose against an extremely motivated Norwegian side, keen to get on top of the podium at Poland 2018 and win Norway's first-ever gold medal at the women's youth world championship.

After Nikita Van Der Vliet scored the first of her six goals in the game after a minute, her Dutch side could not score again until the seventh minute but by that time the Norwegian fast-break machine had scored eight unanswered goals in a blistering six minute period.

Knut Ove Joa, head coach of Norway, described his team's work as "amazing" after the game and would have been happy going into the half-time break 19:13 up. In those first 30 minutes he had seen his side steal the ball an impressive seven times from their opponents and score five out of six fast-breaks and this enthusiasm on the side did match his players on court, although that energy did spill over at one point when the coach was first warned and then received a two-minute suspension after he vented his frustration at a potential Netherlands comeback as the Dutch had brought it back to just three goals' difference (15:12) - 

The second half was slightly more equal with scoring exchanges peppered throughout the half, but Norway did enough to stay in front and take their second win from two.

Best players of the match: Britt VAN DER BAAN (NED), Marte Siren FIGENSCHAU (NOR)

Argentina vs Japan 23:26 (10:14)
In the most exciting game of the day, Japan managed to get their first win at Poland 2018 and take a big step into the eighth-finals, but it took the first 10 minutes of this encounter for them to wake up and then the next 10 minutes to become equal again.

A very different Argentina side to the lacklustre one which took to the court in their near 30-goal opening loss to Russia saw a 6:2 lead after 10 minutes as Carolina Bono, Camila Irribarria and Sofia Ballada all scored two each, but Japan coach Jun Tanaka steadied the ship with a time out as his side eventually brought it back even to 6:6 (20th minute).

As Japan took their time in attack (averaging 44 seconds for each one), they gradually pushed in front to lead by four at the break (14:10) - a lead they slowly extended to six (20:14) in the 43rd minute but the South Americans were not going to go down without a fight as they put together a 6:2 run in the last nine minutes to come with two, but Airi Ito's decisive 57th minute strike made the Argentina fightback fall short.

Best players of the match: Carolina BONO (ARG), Airi ITO (JPN)

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