Recap: W handball round two - WSMV News 4

Recap: Women's handball round two

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Here is a look at the group standings after the second round of play. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. 

Group A:

1. Brazil: 4 points (+16 goal differential) 

2. Angola: 4 points (+6)

3. Spain: 2 points (+3)

4. Norway: 2 points (0)

5. Montenegro: 0 points (-8)

6. Romania: 0 points (-17) 

Group B: 

1. Sweden 4 points (+13)

2. Russia: 4 points (+6) 

3. Netherlands: 2 points (+4)

4. France: 2 points (+3)

5. South Korea: 0 points (-8)

6. Argentina: 0 points (-18)

(Group A) Angola inch closer to history, take down Montenegro 27-25

10:22 p.m. 

Angola closed play on Monday night by continuing a feel-good story of their own. six two minute suspensions.

The African nation, which has always dominated its continent in the sport but rarely found glory in intercontinental competition, are now 2-0. Angola finished in 10th place out of 12th in the 2012 London Games and 12th out of 12th in Beijing. The victory over Montengro puts the African side in an excellent position to reach the bracket stage in the Olympics for the first time in history. 

in group play thanks to Teresa Patricia Almeida's magnificent display in goal. Almeida saved 41% of shots faced, a sublime performance in handball. 

Angola played nearly third of the time a woman down because of accrued two minute suspensions. Their good start in the opening minutes saved them from possible disaster, as they somehow managed to escape the half leveled at 12 with Montenegro. 

Those two minute suspensions continued for Angola in the second period as Montenegro saw the lead early, but it was Almeida who again bailed out Angola in the clutch moments. 

After finally tightening up their play, Angola finally pulled away from Montenegro in the final 15 minutes of play and managed to hold off a late comeback by Montenegro. 

(Group B)  Netherlands grab first-ever Olympic victory, defeat Argentina 27-18

8:23 p.m. 

The Dutch grabbed their first win ever in Olympic play tonight, taking down fellow debutants Argentina in a streaky match. 

Netherlands, quickly putting their opening round loss to Russia behind them, crushed Agentina in the second round of play. The Dutch got off to a hot start, shooting a perfect seven-for-seven. Argentina, meanwhile, were held scoreless until the 13th mintue. 

But the Argentines would not let themselves be though of as push overs, fighting to cut the lead down to two as the Dutch seemed to relax. Much of that was to the effort of Valentina Kogan, whose steady performance in the net gave Argentina the opportunity to find their opponents out of position during the fast break. The inexperience of playingin the Olympics showed. Netherlands gifted Argentina with the chance to make a run in the second half, getting drawn into a handful of double suspensions from sloppy play. 

It took a while, but the Dutch finally regained their composure, tightening up on the defensive end to stump whatever momentum Argentina seemed to be brewing. 

There was an injury scare for Argentina late in the second half as Elke Karsten took a nasty fall after twisting her knee. Karsten was sporting a protection sleeve on the same knee. She was lifted by a stretcher to the sidelines before heavily limping into the tunnel. 

(Group A) Brazil crush Romania, move to 2-0 in group play 

5:08 p.m.

Brazil proved that their victory over Norway was no fluke, steamrolling disheveled Romania. 

Brazil got off to another hot start, scoring three quick goals in as many minutes. Ana Paula Belo, who scored 12 goals in her fast match, picked up right where she left off, scoring within the first minute of play. 

2015 World Player of the Year Cristina Neagu received a two minute suspension in the third minute of play, giving Brazil with a fine opportunity to break down a weaker Romanian side. 

Eduarda Amorim, in a lapse of judgment midway through the first half, grasped Melinda Geiger's arm as the pivot was about to score and dragged her to the ground. The Brazilian winger was subsequently sent off for the match. Yet her absence did little to deter her teammates from letting up, whose staunch defense forced Romania to attempt shots beyond the nine meter line. Romania scored once from that spot in nine attempts in the first half. 

The second half saw a more relaxed Brazilian side, slowing down to match the pace that would typically favor the Romanians. But Romania were far too organized to put anything together, falling behind as far as eight goals at one point. Neagu continued to struggle scoring, shooting for only 50% for the game. 

Barbara Arenhart had an impressive game as well, saving 38% of shots faced. She also recorded her first-ever goal, throwing the ball into the opposite net during a poor Romanian transition. 

Belo finished the game with eight goals for Brazil. Alexandra do Nascimento scored four, respectively. 

In the end, Romania were simply outclassed and outmatched by Brazil on almost every level. 

(Group A) Norway get back on track, defeat Spain 27-24

3:14 p.m. 

In a fine display of their variety from being able to carve out plays from all parts of the court, Norway reminded the rest of the competition just how good they are - just in case anyone began to think that the two-time defending gold medalists may be out of form.

The Norwegians, who struggled to find their footing in the entirety of their match against the host nation, favored much better against Spain. Nora Mork led the way in the first half, shooting three for six. Heidi Loke posted similar numbers of her own. 

Spain seemed to struggle against a more discplined Norway offense, but keeper Darly Zoqbi managed the line quite well in the first half, saving 10 of 21 shots. 

Spain's defensive effort was underminded in the second half. Veronica Kristiansen took over the game and added to the offense threat already established by Mork and Loke, widening the lead to three goals partway through the second half of play.

Kristiansen, Mork and Loke continued with the sublime play against Spain, scoring from both the center of the court and off the flanks. Kristiansen ended the game with seven goals. Mork and Loke recorded five and four goals, respectively. 

(Group B) Russia outflank France 26-25 in thrilling encounter 

12:00 p.m.

France's efforts to slow the pace of the Russians proved ineffective, with the Russians exploiting France on the fast break and overlap. 

To offset the pace, the French looked to draw the foul and earn the seven meter shot. Clumsy fouls seemed like it would be the early undoing of France, who were down by two players due to two minute suspensions as Russia frustrated the French line. Russia couldn't make it count, nor could they contain Alexandra Lacrabere who willed her team from falling too far behind. 

Lacrabere finished the match with 11 goals. 

France were unable to capitalize on that momentum, missing several nine meter shots. Marina Sudakova and Russia exposed France on the flanks in the first half, generating six goals from seven opportunities. 

Missed opportunities continued to hurt France, and Polina Kuznetsova eventually capitalized on the mistake, scoring off a late fast break to give Russia a 15-10 lead at the half.

France began play in the second half with a newly discovered flair. Captain Siraba Dembele led the charge for her squad to claw back within one goal in the 18th minute of the second half.

But, again, it was Kuznetsova continued to pound France from the wing. The Russian time and time again bided her time from the right side, pouncing on the unsuspecting French defense. 

France had a chance to level it in the final two minutes as Kuznetsova was issued a two minute suspension after intentionally kicking the ball. Dembele missed an easy shot just moments later, bouncing the ball well above the goal. 

And, again, it was Russia who maintained the pressure with another goal from the flank, this time courtesy of Olga Akopian, that surely was enough to prevent the French comeback.

(Group B) South Korea's woes continue, fall 28-31 to Sweden 

10:00 a.m.

South Korea entered play on Monday morning needing a win in order to have a fighting chance to get out of group play.

Plagued by costly turnoversand lax play again, South Korea fell to 0-2 in group play. Things looked good for South Korea initially with Eun Hee Ryu dictaing the early tempo. Sweden leveled with South Korea late in the first half during a two minute South Korean suspension, climbing back into the match after a four goal deficit. 

Nathalie Hagman led the charge to pull Sweden ahead in that span, with five goals of her own. 

South Korea struggled to stay composed in the second half, turning the ball over on possession and, down by three goals, gifting Sweden with a two minute suspension. Sweden pulled clear, making key substitutions in transition and exploiting the gaps left by South Korea in the center.  

South Korea upped their tempo late in the second half, clawing back to get within two goals, but an interception by Louise Sand in the final 60 seconds sealed the win for Sweden. 


Sweden are in fine form in these Olympic Games, getting off to two successive victories. South Korea have never failed to make it to the semifinals in the Olympics. 

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