They might have surprised Norway with their youth and speed, but this time Germany had little to show against Romania, as their fast attack was annihilated by a strong Romanian defence.
With two wins in the first two matches, Romania sealed a main round berth and will start the group in Nancy with at least two points, while waiting for the final game in Brest against Norway.
Germany vs Romania 24:29 (11:14)
Two days ago, when Romania beat the Czech Republic in the maiden game of the group, the pivotal moment was their good start, when Ambros Martin’s side jumped to a 5:1 lead and never looked back.
This time, the opponent was a buoyant Germany, who came after an astonishing win against Norway and looked like an attacking juggernaut.
Yet Romania had the same flawless start and the ingredients were basically the same: a strong back line, a plucky defence and a pair of penalty saves from goalkeeper Denisa Dedu.
As Germany started to find their footing and get back the attacking prowess who powered them to 33 goals against Norway, Cristina Neagu’s powerful shots ensured that Romania boasted a healthy lead, 12:7, after 19 minutes.
Her fifth goal of the game broke the all-time scoring record at the EHF EURO, as the 30-year old Romanian star leapfrogged former record holder, Agnes Farkas, who had scored 205 goals.
It was more of the same in the second half, but with a different leader on the Romanian side. Playmaker Eliza Buceschi scored six of the first nine Romanian goals, as Ambros Martin’s side jumped to an unassailable 25:16 lead.
But the Romanian win could not have been achieved without the superb outing from goalkeeper Denisa Dedu. The 24-year old did everything a player could do on the court, including scoring a goal and boasting a 12-save tally, earning herself the player of the match award.
As the clock ran down, Germany managed to cut down the gap, but they could not avoid a 24:29 defeat.
While Romania will play against Norway in the last round, Germany must secure at least a point in the last game against the Czech Republic to progress.