Women’s handball team “increasingly closer” to achieving Euro2024 dream

Women’s handball team “increasingly closer” to achieving Euro2024 dream
Women’s handball team “increasingly closer” to achieving Euro2024 dream
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“The group is very united and very focused. We know that, after so many years, we can reach a great competition. We are getting closer and closer”, said the 26-year-old right winger, in Quarteira, in the district of Faro, where the ‘quinas’ team has been training since Monday.

Portugal is trying to qualify for its second time in the finals of the women’s European Championship, after their presence in 2008, in Macedonia, where they finished in 16th and last place.

“It was a long time ago. It is a dream for any athlete to go to a major senior competition, to represent our country at the highest level”, said Patrícia Rodrigues, who has 50 caps.

The women’s handball team hosts the Netherlands on Thursday, in Loulé, at 7:00 pm, and ends the qualifying phase in the Czech Republic, in the city of Plzen, on Sunday, at 6:00 pm (5:00 pm in Lisbon).

Portugal occupies second place in Group 3 qualifying for the European Championship, with four points, four behind the Dutch, first and already qualified, and equal on points with the Czechs, third. Finland is in fourth place, still without points.

The Portuguese maintain aspirations for the second direct qualification spot or one of the four spots allocated to the best third-placed teams, a ranking for which only results against the first two placed teams will count, which will leave qualification suspended until the last second of Sunday’s match. .

Patrícia Rodrigues stated that the Portuguese players are “aware of the difficulty” of the games with the Netherlands, sixth in Euro2022 and fifth in the World Cup 2023, and the Czech Republic, eighth in the World Cup 2023, but they want to demonstrate their quality.

“We feel that teams [mais fortes]Nowadays, they have more respect for us, they know that we are stronger and more consistent. We are starting to get results, the possibility of going to the European Championship is great and we are going to do it”, highlighted the Madeira SAD handball player.

Despite the improvements in defensive consistency, the reduction in the number of technical failures and offensive transitions recorded in recent years, the main difference for the first level teams is their competitive experience in major competitions, which allows them to “know how to deal better with pressure ”, observed Patrícia Rodrigues, one of the best Portuguese scorers in this qualifying phase, along with Beatriz Sousa, both with 22 goals.

The women’s coach, José António Silva, also considered, in statements to Lusa, that there is a lack of game routines at a higher level and that, despite the work done in training and analysis, “there are things that can only be resolved by competing, only by experimenting. situations.”

Despite this, stressed the coach, who has been in office for three years, Portugal’s evolution has been “noticeable”, which has improved its aggressive defense and systematic focus on counterattacks, ideas that have long been implemented in the national teams.

“As a result of this evolution, our objective is to qualify for the European Championship, which could be of great importance for the future of the team and our handball, because it will allow us to collect more points, with repercussions on the ranking and a series of consequences that can be positive”, highlighted José António Silva.

The selector assured that, against two “stronger” teams such as the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, the strategy is being outlined to “score and close the scorecards”, but on the table is “a concrete notion of everyone the possible scenarios to reach Euro2024.

The final phase of the European Championship will take place in three countries (Austria, Hungary and Switzerland), between November 25th and December 15th.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Womens handball team increasingly closer achieving Euro2024 dream

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