Romania's women's handball team this
past Wednesday sustained their second defeat at the World Championship,
underway in Japan. Romanian lost the match against Montenegro by the narrowest
of margins, 26-27. However, it was Romania's best match since the debut of the
competition. With Swedish Tomas Ryde at the helm, the Romanians were
unstoppable for the first 45 minutes of the match, succeeding a 21-17 lead. Montenegro
came from behind and scored seven goals in a row, securing a 24-21 lead. Late into
the game the two teams' performance became balanced, but the Romanians were
unable to turn the tables on their opponents. Cristina Neagu's run during the
game was scintillating since she scored no less than 11 goals and was
designated the best handballer of the match.
In the other Group C matches so far,
Romania was defeated by Spain and secured wins against Senegal and Kazakhstan.
This coming Friday's match against Hungary is a must-win for Romania, if they
want to advance to the competition's main groups stage. However, in the next stage Romania has zero
points on their record sheet. The first two teams in the main groups stage will
make headway into the Championship's semifinals. However, also at stake is
securing as best a place as possible in the competition's final rankings, since
in 2020, the first seven teams will take part in the Olympic Games qualifiers. Host
team Japan, European champion team France and Panamerican champion Brazil have already
secured their place among the world's top seven teams. Being able to secure the
8th, the 9th or even the 10th place at the
ongoing edition of the World Championship may enable the respective teams to
gain access to the pre-Olympic tournaments.