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07.11.2011, 11:00
Slovak sensation: Heister’s team wins against France...
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...but is dismantled by EURO champions in second game.

»EHF Euro Events Channel »2012 Men's News
»
 

Slovak sensation: Heister’s team wins against France

For the first time for 17 years, Slovakia beat France in an international match. And the 28:30 loss in their first friendly encounter was the first French home defeat for two years. But only three days later, the European, World, and Olympic champions showed their real face by smashing Slovakia 37:18.

One thought of France as unbeatable, but the Slovaks proved otherwise. Thanks to a strong performance from goalkeeper Richard Stochl (a player of French club Montpellier) they took both points in the first of two friendly matches at the home of the favourite for the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.

Whilst the score was equal at the break (14:14) the Slovak defence fought bravely, as the French team – missing Nikola Karabatić and Michaël Guigou – lacked rhythm and concentration in attack. The game was effectively decided at the score of 28:25 for the guests.

Slovakian coach Zoltán Heister was highly impressed: "Every player gave 110 per cent or more. It was not an accidental victory, and this experience will increase our self-confidence for Serbia, as we have proved that we can beat even the best team of the world."

But this home defeat set free a lot of adrenaline and motivation for the French. They improved tremendously in the second encounter and blew the Slovaks off the court.

After a 9:0 series in the first half, the second friendly game had already been decided by minute 24, when the score was 15:5 for the host.

"It was light years away from our performance in the first encounter," said French captain Jérôme Fernandez.

And his team was still hungry for goals, even after their top shooter Daniel Narcisse had to be replaced due to an ankle injury. In minute 39, the gap was 15 goals (25:10), in minute 56 it was 20 goals at 35:15, and the final result was 37:18.

"If we are aware of our opponents then we are successful, and we always have to be aware. This is the main thing we learnt from those two matches," said French pivot Bertrand Gille.

"I feared that it would be pay-back day for us," said Zoltán Heister after the greatest defeat in Slovak handball history: "But we learnt a lot from this game." He had to replace key-player Csaba Szücs in the second match.

Further information

Download the Official EHF EURO 2012 Playing Schedule (pdf)

Buy your EHF EURO 2012 tickets HERE.

Ticketing is managed by the Serbian Organising Committees. Should you need further assistance for buying your tickets, please contact via email: tickets@rss.org.rs

Find more information on the tournament on the official website www.ehf-euro.com/SRB2012/

Join the growing community of fans of the event on Facebook www.facebook.com/SRB2012


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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