2018 final rematch sees last-second draw

GROUP I REVIEW: The clash between the 2018 winners and silver medallists was decided with six seconds on the clock, ending with France and Russia splitting the points, 28:28

The rematch of the EHF EURO 2018 and 2016 Olympic Games finals to open day two for group I saw France fight back from a half-time deficit and the match end in a 28:28 draw. After leading throughout the game, Russia were down by one in the last minute, but secured the result with a goal from Olga Fomina with six seconds remaining. 

For both teams, it is the first dropped point at the EURO, but they remain together on top of the group with seven points apiece after the Friday night clash.


France vs Russia 28:28 (16:19)

  • Russia took control from the start and stayed in front through to the 44th minute, before the game ended with a level score that was the first draw ever between the teams
  • in the first half, an unusually weak defensive performance from France resulted in only four saves and the highest number of goals conceded so far in that period. Russia led as clear as five goals in the opening half
  • a strong back-court outing in attack was important for Russia, with Vladlena Bobrovnikova and Antonina Skorobogatchenko – the Grundfos Player of the Match – combining for 10 goals. Iuliia Managarova was especially dangerous from the wing with five
  • an improved defensive game from France meant they profited from fast break goals and equalised thanks to team captain Siraba Dembélé Pavlovic at 23:23 with 16 minutes remaining – and from there the match was on the edge
  • thanks to goals from Orlane Kanor and Oceane Sercien Ugolin, France pulled in front in the last two minutes, before right wing Olga Fomina equalised for Russia in the dying seconds

Russia destroy France’s biggest weapon in first half

France had previously conceded a maximum of 12 goals in a first half at the EHF EURO 2020 – against Montenegro in their preliminary round opener. Russia destroyed that record, pummelling the goal with 19 successful shots in the first 30 minutes.

For Russia, as an added insult to France’s great defensive reputation, it was the highest number of goals scored in the first half at the EURO so far.

France managed to improve their defence in the second period, leading to some easy goals and ultimately the split points.

Match reaction

France coach Olivier Krumbholz said: “We are a very good team, we showed that, we weathered the storm and managed to come back. A loss against Russia at one or two goals would not be so bad as one at five or six goals. We earned a draw and I am proud of how we played.”

Russia coach Ambros Martin said: "It was a fantastic job from the part of my girls. It was a very good game, it was superb that both teams played such a very good game after playing yesterday.

“We led early in the first half and we knew that in the second half we needed to increase our level, because we conceded 16 goals and they will try to attempt a comeback. In the first half, we probably did not change a lot, because players asked me to remain on the court, because they were feeling good.”

written by Courtney Gahan / jh