Bad day for the French women's teams in Japan.
After the basketball players, pitifully beaten (70-74) by Japan at the opening of this Tuesday, the handball players were surprised on their side by Spain (25-28), which had been waiting for this victory since… Euro 2006!
The way to the quarter-finals is still possible but we will have to show something else during the last three meetings of this group stage.
🇫🇷 25 ⚡ 28 🇪🇸
The Spanish too strong for our Blues today 😞 We
will have to re-mobilize for the next meeting against Sweden, Thursday 💪 #BleuetFier # Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/hvqI7xGRNm
- French Handball Teams (@FRAHandball) July 27, 2021
There was everything to fear from this first big meeting for the French, who had started their Olympic tournament on Sunday well against Hungary (30-29).
First of all because Spain is used to major events, even if it has never won a single title in a major international competition.
Then because Coralie Lassource and her comrades weakened at times against the Hungarians, especially at the end of the meeting.
And that's still what happened during the first period.
In front during the first 25 minutes, thanks in particular to the efficiency of Pauline Coatanea in front and Amandine Leynaud in her cages (7-4, 16th), France, who temporarily lost Grace Zaadi and Alexandra Lacrabère to injuries, does not succeed not to resist the assaults of Alexandrina Barbosa, born in Portugal and naturalized Spanish since 2009. At the break, nothing is played (12-12).
Last December, the victory of the Blue at the Euro against these same opponents had launched them towards the final table.
The vice-champions of Europe, who now play with Cléopatre Darleux in the goals, are round back on the return from the locker room.
Their offensive ineffectiveness was quickly sanctioned and Spain took four steps ahead (14-18, 39th).
The last five minutes are untenable.
Led by three goals (23-26), the French try everything for everything and the fight intensifies.
Grace Zaadi misses her penalty and the next shot.
Reduced to six, the Blue touch new Spanish amounts.
Their luck has passed.
The players of Olivier Krumbholz now have an appointment in two days with the formidable Swedes, who have just beaten Russia and who have also refueled.
“We are in a very dense, very difficult pool, reacts Allison Pineau.
We will have to fight to the end and be very strong.
At this level, we are able to react.