06/12/2020

Defensive masterclass powers France through to main round

GROUP A REVIEW: On the back of their usual superb defence, France recorded their second win in a row at the EHF EURO, 27:17, against Slovenia, earning a main round berth

Grundfos Player of the Match Estelle Nze Minko and France looked comfortable against Slovenia. Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

France are masters of defence and they proved that once again at the EHF EURO, after conceding only six goals in the first half against Slovenia.

The title holders secured their second win of the tournament 27:17, progressing to the main round, while Slovenia’s fate is now out of their hands.

GROUP A

Slovenia vs France 17:27 (6:12)

  • limiting Slovenia to a meagre 20 per cent attacking efficiency in the first 14 minutes, France used a 6:0 unanswered run to jump to a convincing 9:2 lead, scoring three of those goals via fast breaks
  • Uroš Bregar’s side failed to score for 12 minutes and 21 seconds until right back Barbara Lazović finished the drought, when France were already up by six
  • Slovenia were only one goal shy of tying their worst-ever first half at the EHF EURO in terms of scored goals, after putting only six goals past Amandine Leynaud
  • France secured their fifth win in a row at the EHF EURO, only one win shy of their best-ever winning streak
  • Slovenia are not out of the competition, but need to beat Montenegro on Tuesday if they are to proceed to the main round, while title holders France meet Denmark in a pivotal game for the future of the both sides in the tournament

Offensive struggles mar Slovenia's chances

It was a game to forget for Slovenia, as Bregar’s side failed to break the French defence, with star backs Ana Gros and Tjaša Stanko scoring only six times from 16 shots.

Slovenia scored the second lowest number of goals in their 27 games in history at the EHF EURO, 17, only one goal more than their record, set against Norway in 2010.

Match reaction

France line player Beatrice Edwige said: "It was a good match from our part, I think that we decided to focus on the defence and we did that perfectly in the first half. We did a very good game, after we our form fluctuated a bit against Montenegro, so we are just happy."

Slovenia coach Uroš Bregar said of the next match: "We have one more match, we will change the system in attack and improve our level in defence. Montenegro are a good team, but we know them well, we are both teams from the Balkans and we hope to show our best performance in the last match."

written by Adrian Costeiu / jh