The National Team led by Eduardo Gallardo played a very good game, but fell to Brazil at 19:26 for the last date of the subcontinental tournament that was held at La Casa del Handball Argentino. Yesterday he had qualified for the World Cup that will be played at the end of next year in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Under an impressive public framework that was present in the Oceania Pavilion of the Youth Olympic Park, Argentina could not beat Brazil in the decisive match of the South-Center and hung the silver medal. The tournament that meant the reunion of the National Team with its people after the 2017 Pan American held at SAG Ballester, will remain in the records as the first official competition of a national Adult Team in its own stadium inaugurated this month.
La Garra reached a new edition of the South American classic after beating Uruguay 29:17 in the debut, Paraguay 25:17 and Chile 26:18, victories that had already ensured qualification for the World Cup and at least the runner-up. In the contest that was played under the format of all against all, the Trans-Andean Selection was left with the bronze. All of Argentina’s matches could be seen live on the channel You Tube of the Argentine Handball Confederation.
In one of the best games against Brazil in recent years, the National Team sold the defeat dearly, performing well throughout the sixty minutes, adding few losses in attack and doing intense defensive work. Elke Karsten, with 6 goals, was the top scorer for a team that led until the last minutes of the first half, in which they went down 11:14 at halftime, and fought until the end of the match.
Argentina and Brazil were left with the two places at stake for the 2023 World Cup that put the 3rd edition of the subcontinental contest at stake. The Women’s National Team will register its twelfth participation in the history of the World Cups -it will be the eleventh consecutive- since its first appearance in Denmark/Norway in 1999. In Buenos Aires, Brazil won its 7th consecutive continental title since the consecration in the Pan American Sao Bernardo do Campo 2011.
A goal by Joana Bolling from the winger after good circulation gave the first good sensations in attack, a constant during the first thirty minutes, mainly in the initial twenty where La Garra had practically no losses. Not even an expected high performance from Bruna de Paula on the Brazilian front line, who scored four of the first five goals and was the game’s top scorer with 10 goals, dwarfed a defense that also responded when needed.
In this context, and with tireless encouragement from the public, Argentina not only turned the table around with a brilliant performance by Elke Karsten and Giuliana Gavilan (seven goals in the first half between them), but also went ahead 6:5 in the 11th minute. Positive energy, sustained in the first saves by Marisol Carratú and a defense that continued to be intense, which lasted for several minutes until 10:8 up after a great goal by Sofia Rivadeneira on firm footing.
Ana Paula’s entry into the Brazilian first line changed the face of a Brazilian attack that until then had been uncomfortable, several times coming to have to resolve passively and without being able to add on the counterattack, for a partial 6:1 In the final minutes, they went to rest 14:11 up, also taking advantage of some bad decisions in the Albiceleste attack.
A change in the defense of Brazil also caused a few minutes of discomfort for La Garra, who needed 8 minutes in the add-on to score his first goal, signed by Campigli from a penalty. But after that bad passage in which the Brazilians were able for the only time in the game to run the court and score some counter-attack goals and get the most out of the game, 19:12 in 10 minutes, Argentina adjusted and fought again.
A goal from Macarena Sans not only reactivated the Argentine position, which recovered a bit of the fluidity shown in the first half, but also rekindled the flame in the crowd. That constant encouragement emboldened the Argentine girls and a defense that was also able to return to its level, contact more and recover balls again. Ayelén Rosalez had some important interventions in the goal, Campigli became the thermometer of the Selection with an excellent job in both areas and La Garra resurfaced.
Although the recovery on the board was not complete, because it came to discount to five, 16:21 in 19 minutes, and had the ball to get even a little closer, the National Team kept their fighting spirit alive until the sound of the buzzer and a board final with victory for Brazil 26:19.
Post match statements
Rocio Campigli: «It is very exciting, firstly to be able to play here and secondly to have all these people who come from a lot of places to see us. With our family, our friends. For those of us who are far away, who are now the majority, being able to enjoy a tournament at home is an immense reward for the career we have been doing. I think the key was when they changed the defense, there we rushed a little more in attack and we began to lose balls, making technical errors. I think the defense was fine throughout the game, it had moments where it faltered a bit too but it’s normal. They have a player who is decisive, she is half the team, so we try to keep her on the sidelines throughout the game but the rest play along very well and are very good on an individual level. There are players who are world champions still in this team, I think that in that sense they were superior.”
Macarena Sans: «It is a huge pride for us to see all the people how they followed us and encouraged us throughout the tournament. Most of the team plays abroad, so playing here at home with our family in the stands is truly something that has no comparison, it’s something beautiful. It is incredible, it is also a source of pride for all Argentine handball to be able to have facilities like these, that are their own and that the National Teams can make use of them is incredible. Our main objective was to qualify for the World Cup. This time there are two places and that makes it more difficult because there is no margin for error. We were able to qualify. We didn’t achieve our second objective, which was to win the championship, but we are happy with the team’s performance throughout the tournament”.
initial training: Marisol Carratú, Rosario Urban, Sofia Rivadeneira, Micaela Casasola, Elke Karsten, Joana Bolling and Giuliana Gavilán.
Argentina (19:26 vs. Brazil): Elke Karsten (6), Rocío Campigli (4), Giuliana Gavilán (3), Micaela Casasola (1), Joana Bolling (1), Sofia Rivadeneira (1), Ayelén García (1), Macarena Sans (1), Lucila Dalle Crode (1), Rosario Urban, Antonela Mena, Delfina Ojea, Macarena Gandulfo, Manuela Pizzo, Ayelén Rosalez, and Marisol Carratú
Photos: Federico Pancaldi/CAH
By Rodrigo Alzugaray – CAH Press