Magda Kepesidou was once again the guardian angel of the Greece women’s team. The 2018 World Championships top goalkeeper stopped Denmark’s last shoot-out attempt to help the reigning champions continue their unbeaten run.
Eleni Kerlidou led the attack with 21 points and Greece finish atop of Group A to set out a quarter-final meeting with Argentina, who beat 2018 World Championships runners-up Norway and claimed Group’s B fourth spot.
LenaMournousatout to rest ahead of the final phase of the tournament, but Kerlidi’s efficiency along with Kepesidou’s saves (37%) help Greece win the first set with ease.
In the second set Denmark were by far the better side and tied the game at one, meaning a shoot-out would be needed to decide the winner.
With Greece leading by two goals (8:6), NikolinaKepesidou failed with her one-point shot, but her older sister was there to fix things saving Kristensen’s attempt.
Greece – Denmark 2-1(27-14, 12-24, 8-6)
Greece: M. Kepesidou 4, Kerlidi 21, Poimenidou 4, Kaloidi, Mournou, Dimitriou 6, Trochidou 6, Logdanidou, Diakogianni 4, Kepesidou 2.
Denmark: Hansen 2, Kristensen 6, Nielsen 2, Ulrichsen 2, Mogensen, Moller 6, Degn 14, Fagerberg, Larsen 12, Johansen.
Referees: Al Hail, Alyafei (Qatar). Suspensions: 2-1
NikolinaKepesidou (Greece – Player)
“IknowImade a mistake. I’m sorry, it seems like I was trying to make the end more dramatic (‘are you kidding’ added her sister Magda who was listening to her).
“In the 2018 semi-final, I played a bad defence and Magda was there to save the shot. I know she’s always there for me and the whole team”.
Magda Kepesidou(Greece – Player)
«These things happen. I did not think Nikolina would miss, but fortunately I saved the… family’s prideandhelp the team win it.
"We are leaving behind us the match against Denmark. Now we turn our focus on the quarter-final with Argentina.
“Our Championships record here is 6-0, but tomorrow's match would be different. We will give 1000 percent of our soul and I hope that everything will run smoothly".
Maria Karantoni (Greece – Coach)
"The quarter-final is a do-or-die match and we have no intention of dying.
"Argentina is a very good and experienced team. In matches like this, there’s no room for mistakes. We must stay focused, calm and deal with any unexpected situation.
"In the first period we were devoted to our game plan and easily prevailed, but in the second we made too many mistakes and missed easy shots. We did not want to take risks aheadof the quarter-final, but in the end we did it".