Czechs triumph over Iceland at W17 Championship in Italy
The Czech Republic won the Women’s 17 EHF Championship in Italy after fighting back from a six-goal deficit in the second half, then winning a penalty shootout against Iceland.
Poland took bronze in a comfortable match against Italy.
The final started fairly evenly until Iceland found a better rhythm and moved into a 7:4 lead. The Czech coaches called a timeout, but Iceland held on to the three-goal advantage and even stretched it out to six goals.
The Czechs managed to capitalise on a few small errors by Iceland, but despite this the Icelanders were leading 18:14 at half-time.
Although Iceland pulled out to another six-goal lead early in the second-half, they let their guard down and allowed the Czechs to close the gap to two goals once more as the game moved into the fourth quarter.
Denisa Holenakova’s long-range shot into an empty net took the Czechs to a single-goal deficit at 23:22, and soon afterwards, Holenakova equalised.
Charlotte Cholevova scored with four minutes left to put the Czechs ahead at 26:25, but the Icelanders pulled level again. Battling hard, both teams scored another two times. Czech goalkeeper Adela Srpova saved a last-second shot by Elin Magnusdottir and with the score level at 28:28, the math had to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Iceland netted the first three penalties, and goalkeeper Andrea Gunnlaugsdottir saved the first two shots by the Czechs. However the tide then turned, and when Lucie Flekova put her penalty past Gunnlaugsdottir’s hands it was all over. The Czechs won 32:31, giving them a place at the Women’s 17 EHF EURO 2021, the Women’s 19 EHF EURO 2021, and the Women’s Under-18 World Championship 2020.
Poland earlier won bronze by beating Italy 28:16. As in their semi-final against Iceland Poland started strongly and had a 4:1 lead inside five minutes. They continued strongly, leading 17:7 at half-time.
Italy were never able to get back into the match. They slightly closed the gap early in the second half, before Poland took control again and sealed their win.
The other placement matches were closer. Belarus came back from a 19:22 deficit at the break to beat North Macedonia 40:36 in a high-scoring game for fifth place.
Turkey beat Israel 32:25 for seventh, and Azerbaijan produced a solid second half to take ninth place with a 35:28 victory against Kosovo on Saturday.
Women’s 17 EHF Championship Italy All-star team
Goalkeeper: Adela Srpova (CZE)
Left wing: Shir Gavza (ISR)
Left back: Ramona Manojlovic (ITA)
Centre back: Asdis Agustsdottir (ISL)
Line player: Osarosemwen Eghianruwa (ITA)
Right back: Olivia Domalgska (POL)
Right wing: Rakel Elvarsdottir (ISL)
Best defence player: Lucie Drozdova (CZE)
MVP: Julia Niewiadomska (POL)
Top scorer: Asdis Agustsdottir (ISL, 51 goals)
1. Czech Republic
6. North Macedonia