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13.03.2011, 14:35
Denmark and Poland take revenge
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EHF EURO 2012 Qualification: Day 1 of Round 4 sees Austrian and Estonian victories.
 

Denmark and Poland take revenge

Five of in total 14 matches of Round 4 of the EHF EURO 2012 qualification were played on Saturday 12 March 2011. On the road to Serbia, Denmark managed to take clear revenge on Russia, just like Poland managed against Slovenia. The biggest surprise was the Estonian away victory in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria secured the lead with an easy victory against Latvia, Greece tied in the Netherlands.

Group 1

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Estonia 21:23 (9:11)

Thanks to their second victory against Bosnia, Estonia currently takes over second place in their group – with realistic chances to qualify for the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia. Like on Wednesday (35:30) Mait Patrail was the decisive figure for the Estonians with seven goals scored. The hosts played a poor match, and remaining with one single point, Bosnia is almost out of the race. Once more the Baltic team overran the hosts at the start, led 4:1 and 8:2. Then Bosnia woke up, first reduced to 9:11 at the break before equalizing at the 12:12 for the first time. The match turned completely as the Bosnians took the lead and extended it to 17:13 in minute 46. But the roller coaster changed its direction again, as Estonia again equalized at the score of 20:20 in minute 54. The last Bosnian sign of life was the 21:20, before Estonia scored the last three goals including two hammers of Patrail which decided the game.

Group 3

Poland vs. Slovenia 32:27 (15:14)

Poland took revenge for the 28:30 defeat on Wednesday and have put their opponents Portugal (on Sunday guests in the Ukraine) under pressure. With now five points the Poles rank one point below Slovenia but are ahead of them in the case that both nations are equal in points in the end, as Poland won the direct encounter thanks to the goal difference. 4,500 fans celebrated a well-deserved victory of the home team, which improved their performance after the break. The key to the victory was the Polish defence (including goalkeepers) which performed much more aggressive than in the first match. Until 7:4 the start of the hosts was perfect before several mistakes occurred in attack. Slovenia – led by Kielce playmaker Uros Zorman – reduced to 7:6 and equalized at the 14:14 for the first time before Tomczak scored the half time result in the last seconds by penalty. The match was equal until 22:21 although Poland was in lead most of the time. In the final stage the hosts decided the game at the 28:24. Afterwards Slovenia resigned and Poland could extend the gap. Top scorers were Jurecki and Tkaczyk with six goals each for Poland and Natek with eight goals for Slovenia.

Group 5

Austria vs. Latvia 34:24 (18:10)

The Austrians secured first place with an easy victory against Latvia and remain unbeaten - as it was their third straight victory after the opening draw in Germany. With seven points on their account the EHF EURO 2010 hosts now are in a brilliant position before the decisive matches in Iceland and against Germany in June. The second victory against the Baltic team (still zero points on the bank) was never endangered. After 37 minutes the gap was ten goals for the first time (27:17) – and then remained on that clear level. Konrad Wilczynski and Robert Weber were the Austrian top scorers with six goals each.

Group 6

Netherlands vs. Greece 30:30 (15:15)

Despite the remaining two matches, the Netherlands are reduced to a rather theoretical chance to still qualify for the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia. They took their first point in this qualification, but lost the direct encounter against Greece after the 23:30 defeat on Wednesday. The Greek are ranked third with three points below the Czech Republic and Norway. Greece took control of the game after the 10:10 and increased the gap to 14:10 before the Dutch came back and levelled at the break.The same situation in the second half: Greece marched away to 28:23 but the Netherlands equalized to 30:30. Nick Verjans missed the great chance for Dutch victory when his last shot of the match hammered against the crossbar. Toon Leenders was top scorer with seven goals for the Dutch.

Group 7

Denmark vs. Russia 36:29 (18:14)

Denmark is back on track thanks to their shooter Mikkel Hansen. The All Star Team player from the 2011 World Championship scored incredible 14 goals against Russia. Due to the clear result the Danes won their direct encounter against their eastern European opponents after the 27:31 defeat on Wednesday. Another hero of the return match was Anders Eggert who returned to the line-up after he was not allowed to enter Russia for the first encounter. Denmark found their form from the World Championship again, with a strong goalkeeper, high speed counter attacks and “Mr. Hammer” Hansen from the long distance shooting range. Especially in first half goalkeeper Niklas Landin stood like a wall against the Russian bears. After 18:14 at the break the hosts were frenetically celebrated by their spectators when they extended the gap goal by goal from 23:15 (36.) to the first ten goal difference at the 27:17 (minute 45). Even as the Russians could reduce the gap to seven goals in the end they could not stop the red and white express. Both teams lead the group ranking with six points each ahead of Belarus (2) and Switzerland (0).

Round 4 of the EHF EURO 2012 Qualification will continue today with another 9 matches.

Find more information at the official EHF EURO website, http://www.ehf-euro.com/srb2012/

Also, you are welcome to join the growing fan community of the event on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/srb2012


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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