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16.06.2013, 21:59
Belarus, Austria and Russia qualify for Denmark 2014
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2013 World championship semi-finalists, Slovenia, miss the EHF EURO 2014. Sweden, Poland and Serbia win their final matches
 

Belarus, Austria and Russia qualify for Denmark 2014

Courtesy of their win against Slovenia, Belarus booked their ticket for the EHF EURO 2014 like Austria did with a confident against Russia in group 7.

Russia, however, will finish as best third ranked team in this qualification phase and have therefore also booked their ticket.

On the other hand, two big names auf European handball will miss the EHF EURO 2014.

Slovenia (semi-finalists at the 2013 World Championship) and Germany (fifth ranked at the World Championship).

For Germany it is the first time they will not participate in an EHF EURO event since the inaugural final tournament in Portugal in 1994.

Group 5: Sweden vs. Netherlands 34:23 (15:10)

Sweden secured the top position in group 5, which will see them seeded in either pot 1 or pot 2 together with the other group winners at the final tournament draw in Herning, Denmark, on 21 June, with a clear victory against Netherlands.

Poland’s result against Ukraine had no impact on the ranking as Sweden won the direct encounter against Poland by aggregate goals.

Netherlands finish their EHF EURO 2014 qualification campaign with two points.

In Sunday’s match they were on eye level with their opponents the 25th minute.

But led by their top scorers Fredrik Peterson (eight goals) and Patrick Fahlgren (6), the Swedish team then forged ahead minute after minute and finally even won by a double figured gap.

Nicky Verjans became the best Dutch scorer with six goals.

Group 5: Poland vs. Ukraine 27:22 (13:7)

In this match that had no further significance for the final ranking, Poland won their third home match in this qualification phase clearly against their neighbours and finished with ten points in group 5, equal with group winners Sweden.

Their qualification for the EHF EURO had already been confirmed on Wednesday. 

Ukraine remain on the bottom of this group with only two points.

Polish German born coach Michael Biegler gave a lot of playing time to his ‘second line-up, but the victory was never threatened.

Ukrainian Oleg Kumogorodsky became the top scorer of the match with eight goals, best Polish striker was Michal Kubisztal with six goals.

Group 6: Slovenia vs. Belarus 33:35 (17:18)

The match was constantly on the edge – but finally it were the Belarusian players that were dancing and celebrating on the court of the Ljubljana arena, while the hosts were left in a state of shock.

Following a brilliant performance at the EHF EURO 2012 (sixth rank) and at the 2013 World Championship (fourth rank), Slovenia have now been left empty handed and will miss the final tournament in Denmark.

In a thrilling match, Belarusian goalkeeper Vitaly Charapanka, who stood like the ‘tower of power’ in the match’s crucial stages, was the key to success.

Slovenia also did not find the means to stop Barys Pukhouski (top scorer with ten goals) and the Rutenka brothers, Dziannis and Siarhei, who netted five times each.

Even though a draw would have been enough for the visiting team to progress, Belarus fought like lions.

Slovenia were always close and they even levelled the score several times in the final minutes, but in the end, two Belarusian break goals sealed their fate.

Nenad Bilbija became the best Slovenian scorer with seven goals.

Belarus will participate at their second EHF EURO following the final tournament in 2008.

Group 7: Serbia vs. Bosnia Herzegovina 30:23 (13:12)

Thanks to a clear improvement after the break in the match against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia became the winners of group 7 with in the end nine points in their account.

Like in the first leg which was played in Bosnia-Herzegovina (final result 24:21 in favour of Serbia) the first half was close, but then Serbia’s bigger international experience and the better individual skills decided the game, which was open until the score stood at 18:16.

After that Serbia forged ahead and finally had decided the duel when they led 23:17 in the 45th minute.

Top scorer of the winning team was Filip Marjanovic with seven goals from eight attempts, for the Bosnian side it was Faruk Vrazalic with five goals.

Bosnia-Herzegovina finish the qualification with only one point on their tally.

The most important question for the Serbia after the EHF EURO 2014 qualification will now be, whether Ljubomir Vranjes becomes their regular coach after he was the intermediate solution for the last two qualification matches.

Group 7: Austria vs. Russia 30:25 (12:12)

Even though they knew that they qualified for an EHF EURO event for the first time without being hosts regardless of their final result against Russia (courtesy of the Belarusian win against Slovenia), Austria gave it all they had – and temporarily even raised hopes in Germany.

If Russia had lost by nine or more goals, Germany would have been the best third ranked team and would have made it to Denmark.

But following the 25:30 loss against Austria, Russia will accompany the Austrians to Denmark as best third ranked team of the qualification.

Even a defeat would not have stopped Austria on their way to the EHF EURO 2014, as then they would have been the best third ranked team.

In case of a draw, Russia would have been second ranked in this group.

In the second half four straight goals from 16:15 to 20:15 virtually decided this game as Russia could not catch up anymore.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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