Kumamoto (Japan) (AFP)
The Norwegian handball players easily dominated Kumamoto on Monday (36-25), taking first place in Group 1 of the 2019 World Cup ahead of Germany, narrowly beaten by Serbia (29-28).
Already victorious Denmark Sunday opening the main round, Norway has relied on a fast transition game effective to beat South Korea, now eliminated.
The Norwegians, led by midfielder Stine Bredal Oftedal (7 goals), take the lead in Group 1 with 6 points, one ahead of Germany (2nd), who missed their chance to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition held in Japan.
The "Mannschaft" could have won his ticket but was narrowly defeated by Dragana Cvijic's Serbia (7 goals). It was Jelena Lavko who scored the winning goal in the very last seconds.
Behind, Denmark defeated the Netherlands 27-24 thanks to a good performance by Anne-Mette Hansen, author of 5 goals, but is eliminated from the competition.
This Group 1 remains undecided before the last meetings scheduled on Wednesday: besides Norway and Germany, well placed, the Netherlands (3rd, 4 pts) and Serbia (4th, 4 pts) can still qualify in case of victory and favorable circumstances.
The top two in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.
The French handball players, reigning world champions and eliminated in the first round, were on their side imposed 26 to 21 against Hungary on Monday in Kumamoto and finish at a disappointing 13th place.
Group 1 point of the first round of the World Ladies Handball Championship after the games played on Monday:
South Korea - Norway 25 - 36
Denmark - The Netherlands 27 - 24
Germany - Serbia 28 - 29
© 2019 AFP