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12.06.2013, 20:32
Sweden book their ticket to the EHF EURO 2014, while France secure the top spot in group 3
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EHF EURO 2014 qualification summary part 2: France record fifth victory, Sweden qualify for the final tournament and Belarus spring a surprise against Iceland
 

Sweden book their ticket to the EHF EURO 2014, while France secure the top spot in group 3

France are the first team to record a fifth win in their fifth qualification match for the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark, beating Lithuania 25:23.

Iceland failed to achieve that feat, as the 2008 Olympic Games silver medallists lost their encounter against Belarus.

Sweden in the end had an relatively easy passage to Denmark, cruising to a never threatened 34:21 win against Ukraine.

Group 3: Lithuania vs. France 23:25 (13:14)

After an entirely even match France only just remains with a clear record, recording their fifth win in their fifth match and also securing the top spot in qualification group 3.

Compared to the first leg (27:18 in favour of France), Lithuania had improved, while the French team – which was already qualified for the final tournament Denmark – did not do more than necessary to take the points.

The match was played on eye level until Arnaud Bingo netted to make it 25:22 for France in the 58th minute and gained his team two points.

Lithuania (with two points) is now definitely out of the race for a spot at the EHF EURO 2014.

Top scorers of the match were Aidenas Malasinskas with five goals for the hosts, and Nikola Karabatic and Luc Abalo with five strikes each for France.

Group 5: Ukraine vs. Sweden 21:34 (7:16)

Even without their top star Kim Andersson, Sweden had no problems to book their ticket for the EHF EURO by gaining a clear victory against Ukraine in Kiev.

The match had been virtually decided at the break when the score stood at 16:7 for Sweden. At 28:18 the gap had gone double-figured for the first time, an achievement which mainly came thanks to the eight fast break goals of wing player Fredrik Petersen, who seemed to be boosted by his recent win of the VELUX EHF Champions League with HSV Hamburg.

Group 6: Belarus vs. Iceland 29:23 (16:13)

Belarus caused a major surprise, but despite having seven points in their account the team of coach Youry Chevtzov is not qualified for Denmark yet.

They still need at least one point in the final match against Slovenia on 12 June to clinch their berth at the EHF EURO 2014.

The victory against Iceland, which was beaten for the first time in this qualification but had booked their spot at the EHF EURO 2014 before, was even more sensational as Belarusian top star Siarhei Rutenka did not take to the court.

Following a close first half, Belarus accelerated after the break and were led to victory by Barys Pukhouski, who became the game's top scorer with nine goals.

Iceland (without top players like Aron Palmarsson and Alexander Petterson) were overpowered in the final minutes, and even Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson's seven goals made no difference.

However, even if both teams will end up with the same amount of points, Iceland will rank above Belarus as they won direct encounter by aggregate goals (the first leg's result was 36:28 for Iceland).


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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