Iceland missed the main round by one goal

On Monday evening, eight matches in the Women’s World Championship were decided. Cameroon secured a historic spot in the main round, Iceland narrowly missed out, and Japan excelled in a dominant victory. Here is a brief summary of Monday’s matches.

Group B

Cameroon started energetically and took an early lead in the match against Paraguay. However, Paraguay managed to keep their nerves in control and soon equalized to 8–8. The game remained closely contested, and the score was level at halftime. In the second half, Cameroon made a slight breakthrough, establishing a two-goal lead. Paola Ebanga, who emerged as the top scorer of the match with nine goals, played a crucial role for Cameroon, and the team soon extended their lead to 22–18. Driven by Fernanda Insfran, who concluded the match with seven goals, Paraguay narrowed the gap, keeping the match closely contested. However, during the decisive minutes, both teams appeared nervous and missed several shots. Cameroon emerged victorious, securing a spot in the Main Round for the first time ever. Paraguay can now look to improve on their performance in the President’s Cup.

The first half between Hungary and Montenegro can be described as a low-scoring affair. The teams fought very hard for each goal and defended better than they attacked. Both Blanka Biro and Marta Batinovic played exceptionally well and had a high save percentage in the first half. However, it was in the second half that Batinovic truly shone and contributed to Hungary’s relatively long goal drought. Montenegro showcased high-quality handball, with Dijana Mugosa and Tatjana Brnovic shining in the offensive plays. When the final whistle blew, Montenegro secured the victory, concluding the group stage with maximum points. Hungary also advances to the Main Round.

Group D

Angola only needed a draw against Iceland to secure a place in the main round, and a draw was what they got. The game was very even from start to finish, and it was only at the start of the second half that Angola made a breakthrough, turning a 15–14 lead into 19–14. However, Iceland made a comeback and the last quarter offered intense drama. Both teams called timeouts in the closing minutes, but with just over 30 seconds remaining, Iceland made an incorrect substitution and received a two-minute suspension while trailing 25–26. Sandra Erlingsdottir scored with barely ten seconds left, leveling the score. In the end, it was Angola that advanced to the Main Round, while Iceland fell just short and will instead compete in the President’s Cup. Ff Cceland had scored another goal and won the match, they would have advanced to the Main Round.

he match between France and Slovenia started evenly, with the teams exchanging goals. At halftime, France only held a two-goal lead, and it was still uncertain who would secure the victory. However, at the beginning of the second half, France made a surge, and a 17–15 lead quickly turned into 21–16. The French team continued to increase the tempo, extending their lead further. The outcome of the match seemed already decided in the last ten minutes, and France’s victory means they have collected maximum points in the group stage. Both France and Slovenia had already qualified for the Main Round before tonight’s match.

Group F

Islamic Republic Of Iran scored the first goal, a historic moment for them, when Nastaran Koudzarifarahani found the net after 46 seconds. However, Japan then dominated, scoring 18 consecutive goals. Islamic Republic Of Iran never had a chance to overturn Japan’s lead. Japan’s attacking play was swift, and their defensive performance was commendable, conceding only ten goals in 60 minutes. Japan secured their largest-ever victory in a World Championship context, thus advancing to the Main Round. Islamic Republic Of Iran, on the other hand, will have to aim for a better performance in the President’s Cup.

Germany got off to the best start and took the lead with 4–0. After that, Germany continued to dominate and maintained the lead until halftime. In the second half, Germany remained solid defensively, and Poland struggled to score, allowing Germany to extend their lead further. With her seven goals in this match, center back Alina Grijseels was the top scorer. Both Germany and Poland had already secured a spot in the Main Round. However, after tonight’s match, it is clear that Germany won the group.

Group H

It was Congo that got off to the best start, much thanks to center back Fanta Diagouraga and right wing Neida Klenn Divoko Kangou. However, when Kangou got injured, Congo started encountering difficulties in their game, allowing Argentina to catch up. Subsequently, the teams played evenly, and at halftime, there was only one goal difference between them. It was only with ten minutes left that one of the teams pulled away. Argentina was clearly stronger and perhaps slightly more experienced as they surged ahead with four consecutive goals, securing the victory. Congo will settle for playing in the President’s Cup, while Argentina secured a place in the Main Round.

The Netherlands and Czechia started the match evenly. Even though Petra Kudláčková performed well in goal, the Netherlands managed to create a slight gap. This was largely due to Czechia’s technical errors in the offensive play. In the last ten minutes of the first half, Yara Ten Holte made crucial saves, and the Netherlands went into halftime with a six-goal lead. However, in the second half, Czechia’s offensive play looked livelier, and they started closing the gap. Nevertheless, Czechia lost focus in the middle of the half, and the Netherlands, led by Nikita Van Der Vliet and Bo Van Wetering, pulled away significantly. The Netherlands’ victory means that they top the group. Both Hungary and the Netherlands had already qualified for the Main Round before tonight’s meeting.

Women’s World Championship, 4 dec:
Group B
Cameroon–Paraguay 26–23 (12–12)
Montenegro–Hungary 24–18 (7–10)

Group D
Angola–Iceland 26–26 (15–14)
France–Slovenia 31–27 (17–15)

Group F
Japan–Islamic Republic Of Iran 42–10 (20–3)
Germany–Poland 33–17 (19–10)

Group H
Argentina–Congo 31–26 (14–15)
Netherlands–Czechia 33–20 (14–8)