MCH Arena, Herning (DEN)
Denmark - Romania
After a tough fight and a real thriller, Romania celebrated a well-deserved victory and won the bronze medal at EHF EURO 2010, beating joint-hosts Denmark 16:15 at the MCH Arena in Herning, Denmark.
It was Romania's first medal ever at an EHF EURO, which they won in the match with the loweste score of the tournament.
Denmark lost their third consecutive match at EHF EURO 2010, finishing fourth, and will now have to go through the play-off against Poland in June to qualify for the 2011 world championship in Brazil.
Both Romania and Denmark went into the match disappointed to lose their respective semi-finals yesterday but with plenty to play for as the winner went straight through to Brazil.
On court, the match developed quickly, with high tension and end-to-end action as spectators in the sold-out venue witnessed a match with great defences on both sides.
Romania went into a two goal lead after just ten minutes, but the Danish fans turned up the volume and Jan Pytlick´s players responded, trying to push each other for the equaliser and scoring marvellous goals through their left-wing Ann Grete Norgaard on counterattacks.
The Scandinavians scored four consecutive times and turned the game with their goalkeeper Karin Mortensen standing like a rock between the sticks.
Just like in their semi-final yesterday, Romania´s back line had massive difficulties in scoring, so Radu Voina´s team were forced to look to the world-class Ionela Stanca on the line and she contributed greatly to keep her side in the game.
Romania picked up the tempo, using an aggressive defensive formation, which caused Jan Pytlick to call his time out.
Denmark became less effective in their offence as the Romanian goalkeeper Talida Tolnai stood like a wall saving 56% of the Danish shots and her side went in at the break two goals up at 9:7.
The home side came back in the second half with more determination and ambition, but were stopped by an aggressive 4-2 defensive system put in place by Romania to keep the skilled Danish shooters away from goal.
But Pytlick´s side had another plan as they punished their opponents for every lost ball through quick counterattacks and the strong Rikke Skov contributed much to keep her side in close proximity to their opponents.
The Danish ladies evenutally fought back and clsoed the gap to a single goal, but Tolnai made some more marvellous saves and with a determind Adina Fiera, the eastern Europeans kept their lead.
The last 10 minutes of the match saw the Danes cheered on by their vocal supporters, but the Romanians kept their two-goal lead until two minutes before the end as Voina called his time out.
Following this Romania were in possession but Melinda Geiger hit the woodwork and as Rikke Skov went up the other end to tie the game she missed in the last Danish attack and it was over for the joint-hosts as Romania celebrated victory and won the bronze medal.
Find the statistics by clicking on the Schedule & Results tab.