Main Round Group II
Håkons Hall, Lillehammer (NOR)
Ukraine - France
France have taken their third victory in their third Main Round match and can still keep their fingers crossed for reaching the final tournament destination in Herning.
Even as they prior to throw-off knew that they were unable to reach the semi-finals, they now have good chances with six points to compete in the 5/6 Placement Match.
They did their job in the twelve goal victory over the Ukraine, but now they depend on the result of the upcoming matches between Hungary and Sweden and Netherlands against Norway.
France started with full steam, a quick 4:0 lead led to a surprisingly early time-out for the Ukraine after four minutes.
Everybody expected a real French rush, but the Ukrainians had found their rhythm. And as France had lost their pace, the Eastern Europeans equalized in minute 15 thanks to their strong shooters Anatasiia Pidpalova and even more Viktoriya Borshchenko.
French coach Olivier Krumbholz reacted with his team time-out, but the match was equal until minute 21 and 9:9.
In the upcoming nine last minutes the French team improved in defence, scored more efficiently and took a three goal lead to the dressing rooms. But in total the performance level of both teams was rather low in the first half.
By changing their goalkeeper to Amandine Leynaud, the French defence had even more confidence and their opponent was put under pressure.
In attack their back court players scored effectively. The result was an early extension of the lead to seven goals.
The Ukraine did not have enough power to return into the game, lost and remain without a point in the Main Round.
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