Group A: Brazil (4-1) blast Montenegro (0-5) 29-23
Brazil put on quite a display in their final match before the quarterfinals. They began the match in their typical hot-start fashion, storming to a 5-1 lead in the opening minutes. With their affinity for up-tempo handball, Brazil produced three fast breaks in the first half to dictate the momentum of the match.
Montenegro did well to hold on and weathered the opening storm. They took advantage of the thinned defense on the win, finding six opportunities from that mark in the first half. They had trouble getting the ball past Barbara Arenhart, though, who’s been having an incredible tournament in goal. The Brazilian keeper saved 44% of shots faced during the game (18 of 41).
Brazil started the second half just as strongly as they began the first, and this time they didn’t give Montenegro a chance to get back in it. Aggresive defense by the Brazilians provided the fast breaks to quickly and soundly put this one away and give Brazil a chance to finish atop Group A.
Ana Paula Belo led her side in scoring with six goals. Fernanda Franca da Silva and Alexandra do Nascimento finished with four and five goals, respectively.
Brazil now currently sit atop Group A with 8 points (+21 goal differential), though Norway could reclaim the top position later today against Romania.
As for Montenegro, it’s going to be an Olympics to forget. The 2012 silver medalists came with high hopes of competing in the latter stages once more, but they just couldn’t replicate the form that saw the country break through four years ago.