Vyakhireva’s top class show sends Russia to the semi-finals

GROUP I REVIEW: The reigning Olympic champions beat Denmark 32:21 to become the first team to secure a semi-final ticket

Anna Vyakhireva had another great match for Russia against Denmark. Photo: Jure Erzen / Kolektiff Images

Just 24 hours after a stunning performance against Serbia (29:25, 6 goals), Anna Vyakhireva has pulled out another stellar game to steer Russia to a convincing 32:21 win over Denmark on Monday in Nantes and to the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 semi-final on Friday in Paris. 

They will also finish the group in first position no matter the upcoming results in Nantes.

Vyakhireva scored nine goals and added five assists, as Russia reached their first medal round at EHF EUROs since 2008 when they won bronze.

Kathrine Heindahl with four goals was the top scorer for Denmark, who lost their third consecutive match in the tournament and have no further chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

Denmark vs Russia 21:32 (9:14)

2016 Rio Olympic Games MVP, Vyakhireva, showed no trace of fatigue after her impressive performance against Serbia on Sunday and spearheaded the Russian attack with her lightning-like moves.

Denmark, who had opened the EHF EURO in France on a very successful note with two wins in the preliminary round, failed to find a similar rhythm throughout the whole match. They scored the first goal of the match, but Russia quickly turned the tide and built up a five goal lead (10:5) after 22 minutes.

Klavs Bruun Jorgensen’s players regrouped to score twice in a row (10:7), but their possible return to the game was halted by two two-minute suspensions within one minute awarded after fouls far away from the Danish defensive zone.

Russia sealed the deal already early in the opening part of the second half, and the only result of the Danish gamble was a flurry of empty-net goals leading to the biggest Danish defeat in history of head-to-heads with Russia.

Even Russian goalkeeper Anna Sedoykina put her name on the scoring list for the first time at her fourth EHF EURO and was awarded best player of the match also courtesy of her 14 saves.

written by Vlado Brindzak / ts