Handball: Angola ensure Team GB women slump to another defeat

Angola 31 Great Britain 25

Great Britain women's tough introduction to the Olympic Games continued
as they slumped to a fourth successive Group A defeat at the hands of
Angola this morning, ending any faint hopes of progressing to the
quarter-finals.

Losses to Montenegro, Russia and Brazil in their opening three matches were par for the course, after only forming six years ago, but they went into the day's opening encounter at the Copper Box with realistic hopes of beating the African champions, having done exactly that in this arena in November's test event.

But Angola have improved considerably since then and Team GB were unable to replicate their performance of nine months ago, though they did produce a display to be proud of in parts, with nine-goal Marie Gerbron top-scoring.

However, it was sloppy play in the attacking third that really cost Team GB, with too many missed chances and handling errors preventing them from recording a historic Olympic win.

With the track and field events and cycling now under way in the Olympic Stadium and Velodrome, Team GB will have been keen to keep handball in the headlines after the unprecedented exposure it received in the first week of London 2012.

And Jesper Holmris' side enjoyed a solid start, with two Lynn McCafferty goals and a Holly Lam-Moores fast break giving the crowd reason to cheer, while keeping the deficit down to 5-4 after the opening 10 minutes.

But a familiar story was unfolding as for all their impressive defensive work, with goalkeeper Sarah Hargreaves again in good form, they could not make it pay at the other end due to several misplaced passes and glaring misses.

That allowed Angola to score five of the next six goals to open up what was looking like an already unassailable five-goal lead after 18 minutes.

Lyn Byl, Team GB's top scorer in the tournament, stopped the rot with a nice turn and throw and Gerbron added a penalty to keep her side in it.

But continued frustration in the attacking third prevented the host nation getting as close to Angola as their defensive play should have allowed, though they finally did something to rectify that, throwing in three unanswered goals to bring the gap down to 14-10 at the break.

For the first time in the competition the women came out for the second half playing for something other than pride and Kelsi Fairbrother and two Britt Goodwin goals raised the roof as they brought their deficit back to three.

Angola continued to keep Team GB at arm's length, though, and four of the next five goals stretched that lead to six as they remained in control.

To their credit, GB continued to chase the impossible dream, with Gerbron excelling, but the Africans flexed their muscles, snuffing out GB's challenge courtesy of four successive goals midway through the second period.

Goals from Ewa Palies and Lam-Moores gave the Copper Box reason to cheer in the final 10 minutes and brought some respectability to the scoreboard, but with four defeats from four, Team GB will go no further in the competition after Sunday's last preliminary clash with Croatia.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy