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09.06.2012, 00:29
Hosts start without a defeat
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Qualification Phase 1 for Men's EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark began on Friday with four tournaments.
 

Hosts start without a defeat

16 nations are aiming for six places in the next round: The first stage of the qualification for the Men’s EGF EURO 2014 in Denmark started on Friday – and no host of the four tournaments was defeated on the first match day. Whilst Italy surprisingly tied with Greece in Bari, Cyprus, Israel and Turkey were victorious in their opening matches.

 

Group A in Nikosia, Cyprus:

The favoured team from the Ukraine started with a hard earned victory against the brave fighting Finish team: After 60 minutes the score was 30:24 after a close 15:13 lead at the break.  Later-on host Cyprus had no problems in beating underdog Luxemburg 27:21 (8:10) thanks to a clear improvement after the break. The final and mostly decisive match on Sunday will be the encounter of both winners of the opening day.

Group B in Bari, Italy:

Whilst Switzerland had an easy opening with a dominant 38:21 (16:12) victory against Olympics participant Great Britain, Greece surprisingly lost a maybe important point against host Italy. After a 16:12 Greek lead at the break the final result was 31:31 – with a big internal fight of the top scorers, who were equal in the end, too: Dimitrios Tzimourtos (Greece) and Demis Radovcic (Italy), who each scored twelve goals in total. With a lot of passion Italy turned the match in the final stage, after the Greek team was still away with four goals until the 21:17. But thanks to Radovcic the host came closer to a one goal distance. Rubino and Carrara secured the point against the favourite in the final minute, being in a one man advantage.

Group C in Rishon Le Zion, Israel:

The first day in Israel ended with two clear victories of the favoured teams: The host had broken the Irish resistance very early in their first ever EHF EURO qualification match with the clearest of all victories of all eight Friday’s matches. In the end the distance was 39 goals at the 49:10 (25:6). Romania did not have any problems, too, in beating Belgium 35:19 (14:9). On Sunday both winners will face in the direct encounter.

Group D in Mersin, Turkey:

Host Turkey stopped the high hopes of the Estonians right in their first match: Thanks to a brilliant attack in the first half and a 21:14 lead at the break the host secured a 39:35 victory against Mait Patrial & Co. – and remain in the race for the first place on home ground. Second winner of the opening day in Mersin was the Latvian team, which had no problems in overrunning EHF EURO qualification debutant Malta 36:10 (17:4).


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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