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06.01.2012, 12:32
Finland come close to shock win
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Highlights of the third round of qualifying for the 2013 Men’s World Championships.
 

Finland come close to shock win

After Montenegro, Greece, Belarus and Portugal had easily won their opening matches in the first part of the Qualification on Wednesday, Estonia had much more work to do in their first game against Finland, while Austria and Lithuania had easier victories. The re-matches in the seven qualification groups will be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Group 1:
Round 3
Austria vs. Great Britain 37:22 (19:8)

There was a successful debut for Austria’s new Icelandic coach Patrejur Johanesson as the hosts did not have any problem beating Great Britain, a team still waiting for their first point in the World Championship Qualification.

Austria stood strong in defence and attack and led 15:4, and the match was effectively over at that early point. After the break (19:8) the British team had their strongest period, but when the Austrian engine got up to top speed again the result became clear, despite Johanesson rotating his squad a lot. In the end the expected distance were 15 goals.

But team captain Viktor Szilagyi praised their opponent: "Great Britain is physically strong, and we had to have respect for them. In the end it was hard to keep our concentration on maximum, as the result was very clear. It is important now to take the points in London, and then to have decisive games against Israel."

Austrian top scorer was Santos with twelve goals, Larsson scored six times for Great Britain.

Round 4
Great Britain vs. Austria

8 January 2012 14:00 hrs (local time), London

Group 3:
Round 3
Estonia vs. Finland 31:27 (17:18)

Like in their previous matches against the Netherlands, Intercontinental Challenge Trophy winner Finland showed their strength and improvement, but again they were the unlucky losers.

The host had big problems in taking the points. In the first half the Finnish team led until the final stage, and the fate of the game was in doubt right to the end.

In the end it was – as usual – outstanding Estonian handball player of the year, Mait Patrail, who proved decisive with his seven goals. It was a hard-fought win for Estonia, and they will need to be on their guard in the re-match as Finland are stronger on home ground.

Round 4
Finland vs. Estonia
7 January 2012 13:30 hrs (local time), Karis

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Group 5:
Round 3
Lithuania vs. Italy 34:25 (15:9)

Like before against Switzerland, Italy had no chance in Lithuania as the hosts dominated the whole 60 minutes. From 7:4 Lithuania extended the gap to 15:9 at the break, and despite a strong Italian period at the start of the second half which pulled the score back to 18:14 and 21:17, the Lithuanian victory was never in doubt. The Lithuanians will also be favourites for the return leg on Saturday.

Round 4
Italy vs. Lithuania
7 January 2012 21:00 hrs (local time), Cologna

The additional matches of the fourth Round in the other groups:

Group 2:
Turkey vs. Portugal
8 January 19:00 hrs (local time), Mersin

Group 4:
Belgium vs. Montenegro
7 January 2012 20:00 hrs (local time), Tournai

Group 6:
Cyprus vs. Greece
8 January 2012 17:00 hrs (local time), Nicosia

Group 7:
Luxembourg vs. BLR Belarus
7 January 2012 19:00 hrs (local time), Crauthem

The final and decisive matches in the Qualification Round 1 of the World Championship 2013:

Round 5: Wednesday/Thursday 11/12 January 2012
Round 6: Saturday/Sunday 14/15 January 2012

 


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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