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03.11.2012, 22:21
Croatia and Sweden keep their 100 percent record
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The lucky Scandinavians only narrowly beat Netherlands, while the Balkan team takes two easy points in Latvia
 

Croatia and Sweden keep their 100 percent record

Two 2012 Olympic medallists were involved in the opening matches of Round 2 of the Men’s EHF EURO 2014 qualification – and both kept a clean record by taking the second victory.

But while Croatia easily took home both points in Latvia, Sweden were under pressure until the final minute in the Netherlands.

Group 4:

Latvia vs. Croatia 23:30 (12:19)

Two matches, two clear victories – Croatia have made a perfect start to the EHF EURO 2014 qualification. Following the 25:21 on Wednesday against Slovakia, Latvia were no real rival for the Olympic bronze medallists. The host remain at zero points after they had lost to Hungary on Wednesday.

The Baltic team was only on equal level until minute 12, then, with the score being 7:6, Croatia took total control and powered away to a comfortable seven goal margin at the break.

Backed by overall 17 saves of Mirko Alilovic and the goals of the ever dangerous Zlatko Horvat, Croatia decided the match early, even saving energies in the second half. Latvia at one point closed the gap to only four goals, but could not threaten the winners at any given time.

Top scorers were Dainis Kristopans, scoring five times for the host, and Ivan Cupic with six goals for Croatia.

Group 5:

Netherlands vs. Sweden 31:33 (15:17)

After their defeat by ten goals against Poland, the Netherlands were close to a major surprise, but finally Sweden held the lucky upper hand in Almere.

Even nine goals of Jasper Adams were not enough for the host to leave the Swedish team behind, in which Niklas Ekberg became top scorer with eight goals after his six strikes against Ukraine on Thursday.

Like Croatia, Sweden remain with a 100 percent record, while Netherlands wait for their first point.

The Olympic silver medallists were under pressure from the first to the last minute although they had been ahead by four goals several times after the break.

But the Dutch team fought back and were close to equalise in the final stages with the score being at 29:30, 30:31 and 31:32, before Jakob Johansson sealed the deal for the lucky guest team 30 seconds before the end.

Sunday’s matches of Round 2 of the EHF EURO 2014 qualification:

Group 1:

Switzerland vs. Spain; 4 Nov, 16:00 hrs. local time in Schaffhausen

Portugal vs. Fyr Macedonia; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Espinho

Group 2:

Montenegro vs. Czech Republic; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Bar

Israel vs. Germany; 4 Nov, 19:45 hrs. local time in Rishon Le Zion

Group 3:

Lithuania vs. Norway; 4 Nov, 16:15 hrs. local time in Kaunas

Turkey vs. France; 4 Nov, 19:00 hrs. local time in Mersin

Group 4:

Slovakia vs. Hungary; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Presov

Group 5:

Ukraine vs. Poland; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Zaporozhye

Group 6:

Belarus vs. Slovenia; 4 Nov, 14:00 hrs. local time in Minsk

Romania vs. Iceland; 4 Nov, 16:00 hrs. local time in Piatra Neamt

Group 7:

Bosnia Herzegovina vs. Serbia; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Sarajevo

Russia vs. Austria; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Perm


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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