Russia completely outplayed France this evening to take the title of the Eural Trans Gas European Championship for U20 Women 2004. They were clearly the stronger of the two teams and simply played in a different class from their hosts. Once they established a lead they held onto it for the remainder of the game, their solid defence impervious to any French attack.
It was only after a long hard slog that Russia could claim victory this evening in the first Semi-Final of the Eural Trans Gas European Championship for U20 Women. In a game reminiscent of the Semi-Final of the U18 Championship 2 years ago, Czech Republic were not able this time to exact revenge for the defeat in 2002 and Russia again finished on top.
If anyone had any doubts about Russia’s abilities after they lost twice in the Group games, they were quickly dispelled after their Quarter-Final performance this afternoon. Despite 35 minutes of intense pressure from Poland, the Russians slowly but surely broke the Polish spirit ontheir way to a 72-57 win. At times the Russians completely dominated inside, out-rebounding Poland 52-23, and taking only 4 offensive rebounds less that the Polish total.
Finland 49 – Russia 81
Thanks to Russia’s loss yesterday to Ukraine, this game was do-or-die for both teams as a win handed the victor the last Quarter-Final place from Group A. Finland were still on an up after a great show against Slovak Republic but after the first 10 minutes today already started to look a little tired. Russia, however, looked in great shape, the key players having not played a lot of minutes against Ukraine.
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