Lithuania shock Serbia in Italy
Just like in the Women's 19 EHF Championship in North Macedonia, the two semi-finals in Italy saw the runners-up from the preliminary round groups reach Sunday's final.
In the first semi-final, Lithuania's sensational late comeback stunned Serbia, while Italy joined them in the final after beating Spain 29:26 in the second semi-final.
The final between Lithuania and Italy will throw-off at 18:00 CEST live on EHFTV.com, and the bronze medal match between Spain and Serbia will begin at 16:00 CEST.
- in the most important match of the tournament so far, Serbia suffered their first defeat
- Serbia looked on course for the final midway through the second half
- Dominyka Andronyk was named as player of the match for Lithuania; Ljubica Milovic received the award for Serbia
With three wins from three matches in group A of the preliminary round, Serbia started as the favourites in the first semi-final in Italy.
For most of the match, it appeared as though Serbia were on course for a place in Sunday's final. In the first half, Serbia established a three-goal lead, 9:6, and were still by the same margin in the 25th minute, but Lithuania cut the deficit to one goal shortly before the break.
Although Serbia's tally of 12 goals in the first half was their lowest in championship, when they extended their advantage to 22:17, Lithuania's hopes of reaching the final were fading. However, with Serbia suffering a lengthy goal drought and seven goals in the match from left wing Dominyka Andronyk, Lithuania claimed the lead and held on to reach Sunday's final.
- hosts Italy won their third match from four matches played at this championship
- Spain conceded more goals (26) in this match than in either of their previous matches
- the best players in the match were Italy goalkeeper Sara Di Giugno and Spain player Nerea Canas
In their two preliminary round matches, Spain had conceded a total of just 35 goals as they beat Lithuania by seven goals and Israel by 18 goals. In those games, Spain's goalkeepers had been vital to their success, but their combined save efficiency of 24 per cent was a significant factor in their undoing.
After 16 minutes of the match, Spain had taken the first significant lead of the match, 9:6, but it was quickly cancelled out by a string of goals from Anna Chiara Campestrini. As half-time approached, Campestrini put Italy ahead 11:10 before Michela Notarianni extended their lead to 14:11.
Although Spain attempted to regroup, Italy's advantage grew rapidly at the beginning of the second half. With Martina De Santis scoring three times in three minutes, Italy took a six-goal lead in the match for the first time at 18:12. Spain reduced the gap to two goals in the 54th minute, but Italy had one final surge that sealed their place in the final.
Placement match 6/7