The first match of the day in Koprivnica saw a clash between Israel and Romania.
Israel’s Yonatan Dayan scored the first goal in the match but Andre Mitu brought the first tie in the game scoring from Romania’s first attack. After five minutes of goals on both sides, Kesem Amiel and Yoav Lumbroso brought Israel up by two (5:3). Romania’s two-goal series took it back to the beginning and both teams needed to score with five players on the court. By the end of the 15th minute, Mihai Dobra broke Israel’s streak and scored for 8:6. Last ten minutes saw a lot of effort on both sides of the court, as well as Dobra’s goal in opponents’ empty goal. Two minutes after, Israel had two suspended players, but Daniel Mosindi scored for a new lead (11:10). Although they had a chance in the last seconds, none of the teams managed to score a goal for a lead at the half-time (14:14).
Strong starts in the first minute of the second half resulted in two new scores, one on each side, as well as a suspension for Israel’s side. The 36th minute brought Israel’s a new three-goal lead (19:16) thanks to Mosindi and Lumbroso, as well as Osher Duchne’s penalty save. Although Romania had a great support in their goalkeeper Andre Lazar, Israel managed to increase the lead (24:19 in the 47th minute) and force Romania’s Jordi Giralt to call a timeout. Into the last five minutes, Oleg Boutenko’s team had a four-goal lead (27:23) and Romania had a suspended player. Mark Bodor and Dobra scored and decreased Israel’s lead but Boutenko’s side was still up by two a minute before the end (27:25). Yoav Lumbroso sealed the deal a few seconds before the final whistle scoring for Israel’s win (28:26).
Israel’s best player was Daniel Mosindi and Romania’s was Mark Bodor.
Top scorer for Israel was Daniel Mosindi with seven goals and for Romania was Mark Bodor with six.
Jordi Alberich Giralt, Romania coach: We tried to prepare, adjust to their system. It’s very difficult because in Romania nobody plays in this system. We had problems to find solutions in the attack, they need more time to understand it better. Motivation is the same as every day, we need to beat Portugal tomorrow. We need to give 100% at all times.
Mark Bodor, Romania player: It was pretty hard to play, because of their unusual defense. We could have done better, because we did some pretty bad mistakes, in attack especially. We lost a lot of balls., which resulted in a lot of easy goals. I’m pretty happy with my team because we did a big step. We showed that Romanian teams can compete with France and Denmark.
Daniel Mosindi, Israel player: It was very important for us, our tournament until now wasn’t so good and it wasn’t what we expected. We had a great game today, and it was very important. We just have to play 100% from the start until the end, to become better. We could have gotten a win in the group stage, but now we play other teams and need to do better in those games.
Oleg Israel Boutenko, Israel coach: First of all we’re happy to win the game, it was mentally difficult to prepare for this game. It was a long tournament and now we have extra motivation for the next match. Romania played very well, we worked very hard in defense and it resulted in a success. We knew they were good and happy to win the match. Tomorrow, there’s some rest and a new game.
Intermediate Round 1, Round 1:
Israel – Romania 28:26 (14:14)