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08.01.2012, 23:05
Faultless performances from favourites
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Round 4 of the European World Championship qualification finished with victories for Austria, Greece and Portugal.
 

After three surprises on the opening day of Round 4 of the European Qualification for the Men’s World Championship 2013 in Spain, the favourites made their way with ease in the three matches on Sunday with Austria, Greece and Portugal securing victories in their respective groups.

Rounds 5 and 6 on Wednesday/Thursday and Saturday/Sunday will establish just who will top each group, with seven teams qualifying as group winners for the play-offs in June where they will take on another 11 teams, who have not qualified directly because of their performances at EURO 2012 in Serbia.

 

Group 1GBRvAUT, 250px
Great Britain vs. Austria 24:40 (13:17)

As expected, Austria took the lead in this group after their second clear victory against Great Britain. Like in Thursday’s match which ended 37:22, Great Britain could only compete for 30 minutes before the experienced Austrians pulled away from the Olympic hosts and took an easy win. Every Austrian field player scored goals, with Robert Weber (12 goals) the pick.

When Austria’s winning margin reached ten goals they began to rotate their squad, and afterwards Austrian player Patrick Fölser said: "In the beginning we had some problems with the Brits, but then we found our pace and the final margin of 16 goals is well deserved." Now his team will face Israel in the decisive clashes of two teams, equal with four points.

 

Group 2
Turkey vs. Portugal 26:34 (16:16)

Portugal is ready for the clash with the Ukraine in their final qualification matches after taking on the Turks for the second time. The two favourites in the group already have four points, while Turkey finish with zero points.

David Tavares was Portugal’s star player with eleven goals in a match which had been fairly equal for the first 45 minutes, when the score was 22:25. Then the host tired and favourites Portugal secured a clear victory. The best Turkish scorer was Tolgar Ozbahar with six goals.

"We have fulfilled our main objective to win both matches against Turkey, but I had expected to extend the lead earlier. But as we had too many mistakes we weren’t sure of victory until the final stages," said Mats Olsson, the Swedish coach of the Portuguese team.

 

Group 6
Cyprus vs. Greece 27:30 (15:17)

After their absolute clear home victory (31:13), Greece were faced with many problems in the re-match against their neighbours. But thanks to their players from top European leagues they managed to avoid a shock defeat. Now they will face Bosnia Herzegovina in the final matches. Both have a maximum four points so far.

 


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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