Recap: Women’s handball round four

Group B: Netherlands (1-2-1) vs. Sweden (2-1-1) each grab point in thrilling 29-29 draw

12:00 p.m. 

With a possible quarterfinal spot on the line for the winner of this game, both teams knew that a fast start would go a long way. Both of these teams delivered. 

But it was Nathalie Hagmann who really took control of this game for Sweden. The right winger picked apart the Dutch defense and made Tess Wester, who’s been red hot for the Netherlands this tournament in goal, look rather beatable. Hagmann scored eight goals in the first half to keep Sweden out in front. 

The Dutch stormed the court early in the second half, outscoring Sweden 5-1 in the first five minutes to reclaim the lead at 18-17. Sweden did well to quickly recover from that setback, finding the gaps in the middle to draw the penalty shots. 

Sweden were hardly incapable of defending the fast break, and gave the Netherlands an astounding 14 chances to score off of them. Hagmann kept her team in it, though, continuing her amazing game well into the second half. A shot from the seven meter penalty marker brought her team back on level terms at 27-27 in the 25th minute. 

Sweden reclaimed the lead just a minute later from a Linnea Torstensson shot from the six meter line. The Netherlands, at 28-29, had a chance to rescue the draw in the final 25 seconds of play. After shifting the ball from the pivot to wing position, and back into the center it was Angela Malestein who broke through the six meter line to draw the match at the final second. 

Group A: Brazil (3-1) def. Angola (2-2) 28-24, lock up QF spot

10:00 a.m. 

Brazil are through to advance to the quarterfinals following a fine second half display against Angola on Friday morning. Brazil began the game shakily, but rebounded quite well as newfound momentum pushed them past a tough Angolan team. 

Ana Paula Belo finished the game with seven goals, while Natalia Maria Bernardo’s efforts for Angola fell just short. 

Angola, who were 2-0 in this competition at one point and second in the standings for Group A, are now dangerously on the borderline of falling off. They are going to need help from Spain if they are to hang on in the final days.