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21.01.2012, 16:39
Moldova win IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy
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Thanks to a 30:28 (15:9) final victory over Faroe Islands, Moldova triumph in the 2011/2012 IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy.
 

Moldova win IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy

2011/2012 IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy Final: Faroe Islands 28:30 (9:15) Moldova
Beogradska Arena, Belgrade
21 January 2012

The final was played in the Beogradska Arena in Belgrade, Serbia on the fringes of the start of the Main Round of the Men’s EHF EURO 2012.

The winner’s plate was awarded to the Moldovans by Tor Lian, President of the European Handball Federation (EHF), and Miguel Roca Mas, first Vice-President of the International Handball Federation (IHF).

The proud Moldovans took their winning team photo in the goal and proudly displayed their flag while their anthem was played.  The result means that they have now qualified for the IHF Intercontinental Trophy, representing Europe in the tournaments of the Challenge Trophy winners from other continents.

Moldova were dominant throughout the first half and thanks to a total of five goals from Anatolii Butov (including a last second hammer on the half-time buzzer) and the great saves of goalkeeper Valeriu Erhan, Moldova were in the lead somewhat decisively at 15:9 going into the break.

The team from Faroe Islands missed too many chances in attack, as the Moldovans were much more efficient and had the stronger defence.

But after the break the northern Europeans improved slightly, as Moldova started to lose power in their defence and attack but the Moldovans still led with a five goal margin (28:23) five minutes before the end.  The Faroe catch-up chase was led by the strong Danjal Torgard (who top scored with 10 goals), but it came too late, even though they had a great chance to reduce the deficit to just one goal difference a minute before the end. But another save from goalkeeper Erhan against a shot of Runi Hojgaard secured the 30:28 victory, with Butov top scoring for the Moldovans with seven goals.

Moldova and Faroe Islands had qualified for this IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy Final as the winners of their respective tournaments in Malta and Ireland back in October.

Best Player Award - Moldova: Serghei COSTIN
Best Player Award - Faroe Islands: Johan HANSEN

Quotes FAROE ISLANDS

Johan a Plogv HANSEN, Faroe Islands left back
“To me and my team a dream has come true to play in the final of the IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy. We have never played in an arena with 20,000 seats – it was an incredible feeling!
“During this tournament we have learned a lot and now we are looking forward to seeing some of the best players in the world. It is a dream for me to be one day playing one day with or against such stars.”

Quotes MOLDOVA

Serghei COSTIN, Moldova right back
“Right after this game I feel incredibly happy and I am very proud of my team. For me it was the first time to play in the IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy and winning it right away is something I only could dream of.“Back home we only have small arenas and usually play in front of just 200 spectators, nothing comparable to such a venue as the Beogradska Arena.

“Becoming a professional handball player is something I would love to do and I am going to work really hard for this.”


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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