France dash Brazilian hopes in 34-27 QF win
Brazil faced the incredibly tall task of taking down handball giants, France. After holding them level for the first half, Brazil just could not hold on in the second half.
The first few minutes looked a bit ominous for Brazil as France quickly jumped to a three goal lead, but Alexandro Pozzer led his team to quickly get a rhythm going and slow down France in transition. Brazil were very quick to reorganize themselves on defense, forcing France to find creative ways to move the ball around the perimeter.
Michael Guigou’s excellence from the wing in the first half is what really bothered Brazil. His presence and excellent touch on the ball caught Brazil off guard several times as he expertly poached from the wing and into scoring position.
Brail remained competitive in the first half, level at 16 apiece with the two-time defending gold medalists.
France pulled away midway through the second half off the fast break. Guigou continued to be the primary contributor for France. Daniel Narcisse also applied the pressure from the center back position, pushing his way through the Brazilian back line.
Pozzer’s two minute suspension gave France the opportunity to open up the lead, breaking through the center of the court with the lack of extra Brazilian support.
France began to look more relaxed after that, smoothly passing and moving the ball around the perimeter. Brazil began to look a bit flat, too, getting a bit more slack on defense and more error prone in their passing and shooting.
Then it was the French depth that took over, excellently rotating in and out of play to stay fresh against Brazil’s mostly-starting seven who found themselves down by six goals in the final nine minutes.
In a match against a giant, the Brazilians just had too tall of a task to pull off the upset and fell short.