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28.10.2010, 23:34
All favourites make their way
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Victories for Croatia, Sweden, Poland and Hungary in the Qualification for Serbia 2012 on Thursday.
 

All favourites make their way

Four quite clear home victories were the results of Thursday’s matches of Qualification Round 1 for the Men’s EHF Euro 2012 in Serbia. With those home victories, Croatia, Hungary and Poland took the lead in their groups. On Saturday and Sunday Qualification Round 2 will be played in 14 countries all over Europe.

Group 1

Hungary – Bosnia-Herzegovina 26:17 (10:9)

Despite missing some injured players like Eklemovic, Hungary jumped over this opening hurdle. Bosnia stood strong in the first 40 minutes, but after that the host overran them thanks to in total six goals of top scorer Tamas Mocsai. Jaskic scored six times for Bosnia. The first half was absolutely equal, but after 15:13 Hungary increased the intermediate distance to 13 goals, broke the Bosnian resistance and took a well-deserved and clear victory.

Group 2

Croatia – Romania 34:22 (16:11)

Croatia stuck to their role as favourites and took a clear victory, as Romania was not as strong as expected. The first 20 minutes were quite equal, then Croatia rushed away to a five goal gap at the break. The last time Romania could hope for a surprise was at the score of 17:13, but then the Croats got away to 23:15 and later to 29:17 – in the end Romania resigned and the distance ended up to be twelve goals. Top scorers were Kopljar (8 for Croatia) and Ghionnea (7 for Romania).

Group 3

Poland – Ukraine 23:15 (11:7)

Thanks to their strong defence and 15 saves of goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal, the Polish team secured an easy and clear victory against their eastern neighbours. In attack the team of Coach Wenta was absolutely unpredictable as almost all players on all positions managed to score. Best Ukrainian player was Ostruzsko with his four goals. The guests were in lead only once in the match – at the 1:0. The game then was close until the 8:7, before Poland scored four straight goals. The Ukrainian resistance was finally broken at 21:11 in the middle of second half. As Poland slowed down towards the end, the Ukrainians caught up a little.

Group 4

Sweden – Montenegro 30:27 (15:17)

4,475 spectators in the brand new World Championship 2011 arena in Kristianstad saw a thrilling final stage full of tension – with a happy-end for the host. Montenegro was an opponent on eye level, but thanks to the eight goals of Niclas Ekberg and the strong defensive performance of Tobias Karlsson, Sweden took the points in this opener. Despite the host leading 14:11, Montenegro was not shocked and turned the game to an away lead at the break, which they kept until the decisive final stage. Twelve minutes before the end the Balkan team was in lead 23:20 and even five minutes to go it was still 26:24 for the guest. With two consecutive goals Ekberg turned the game to 27:26, before Jonas Källman scored the decisive 29:27.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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