Handball World Championships: Romania out of the race

The Romanian women’s handball team lost in the last second the match against Spain on Sunday (26-25), which Radu Voina’s girls ended in tears, after they missed and saw themselves outnumbered on many occasions. The defeat deprives Romania of all chances of ascending into the semifinals of the 2009 Women’s World Handball Championship in China.

Romania attacked first in the beginning of the match, but Galca missed, allowing the Spaniards to score an easy goal. Cristina Varzaru nearly misses a throw from 7 meters and, before long, Spain takes the lead, with 4-2, in minute 10.

With outstanding reflexes, goalkeeper Paula Radulescu saves her team several times and sends her teammates to score on the counter-attack, while the Spaniards are lethal at the center, where Lecusanu & Co. are unable to block on time. In minute 20, Romania is however able to equal. Lecusanu misses a 7-meter throw, but the team regains momentum and leads for the first time in minute 24. The end of the first half finds the Spanish team at the advantage, as the Iberian players are able to stop all their opponents’ attacks.

Romania has a good start in the second half and even scores while being outnumbered, but its luck ends soon, as Vadineanu incredibly misses a 7-meter throw, for the third time. The end of the match is very tense, as Spain equals at 25, while Romania has one player less. In the last second, the Spanish team scores for 26-25 and wins the match. Despite Saturday’s victory over China (40-19), Romania thus loses any chance to accede in the next phase of the Championship, so any victory in the next match, against Korea, would be useless.

Norway, the big favorite of the event, surprisingly lost to Korea (28-27), but preserves intact her chances of qualifying for the semifinals.

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