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23.10.2013, 22:20
Successful start for Germany, Sweden, Iceland and Netherlands
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ROUND REVIEW: Germany put a damper to Trefilov's return by beating Russia, and Sweden keep the points at home by beating Slovenia. Iceland and Netherlands also record victories in Women's EHF EURO Qualification
 

Successful start for Germany, Sweden, Iceland and Netherlands

Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and Iceland gained their first points in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification on Wednesday night.

While Sweden showed with their 30:25 win against Slovenia that they are still a force to reckon with following their rather disappointing loss in the European play-offs for the Women's World Championship 2013, Germany put a damper to the first wave of Russian enthusiasm that could be felt after Evgeny Trefilov returned to the bench.

Trefilov's first official match ended unsuccessfully as Germany beat Russia 32:27. Iceland beat Finland 34:18, and Netherlands powered to a 28:13 win against Italy.

Group 2: Iceland vs. Finland 34:18 (18:8)

Iceland took the clearest of all victories on the opening day of the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification.

Finland stood no chance in this 'Nordic duel' which marked a perfect start to a rejuvenated Iceland's qualification campaign.

Despite nine goals from Linda Cainberg the visiting team was far away from achieving a better result.

The well-balanced Icelandic squad was led by their top scorer Arna Sif Palsdottir who netted five times.

After just 15 minutes the hosts were already away by five goals at 9:4 and double-figured the gap for the first time, when Hildigunnur Einarsdottir hit the net for the half-time result of 18:8.

Iceland started a big rotation in the second half to save valuable energy for their upcoming tasks, while Finland lacked individual skills and power to turn the match around.

Group 4: Netherlands vs. Italy 28:13 (12:9)

A clear improvement of the Dutch team after the break was the reason for the victory in this one-sided match in which Italy only scored four times in the second half.

Until then the visiting team was nearly on eye level with Netherlands which missed efficiency and inspiration in the first half, but also had to replace four injured key players.

After Italy had scored the first goal of the second half to make it 12:10, the Dutch engine started, and the team scored an incredible 15:2 series to push the result to 27:12.

Netherlands best scorer was Laura van der Heijden with six goals.

Group 5: Sweden vs. Slovenia 30:25 (16:12)

It was a successful start for the Swedish team that had failed to qualify for World Championship 2013, losing the decisive play-offs to Poland in June.

The match was on an equal level until the score stood at 9:7.

The hosts then scored four unanswered goals and kept a four-goal distance until the break.

Another triple strike increased the score from 18:14 to 21:14 in favour of Sweden and made the match look destined for an early decision even though Slovenia kept fighting and never gave up.

Swedish striker Linnea Torstensson celebrated her comeback following an injury and Hanna Fogelström finally broke the Slovenian resistance when she scored to make it 27:20.

Slovenia closed the gap slightly afterwards but remained far away from threatening the Swedish victory.

Best scorers were Jenny Alm with eight goals for Sweden and Barbara Lazovic-Varlec who scored seven times for Slovenia.

Group 7: Germany vs. Russia 32:27 (18:11)

The return of Evgeny Trefilov to the Russian bench ended in an unsuccessful way, while Germany, cheered on by 1,500 spectators in Trier, gained their first two points in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification.

Nine goals each of Susann Müller and Marlene Zapf and additionally 17 saves of goalkeeper Clara Woltering decided the match in favour of Germany.

The team played some brilliant handball at the beginning and put the Russian attack under enormous pressure.

Trefilov took a timeout, when his team was trailing 6:12, but nothing changed until the break, until which Germany had extented their lead to 18:11.

In their best period Russia caught up to 19:23, but then the hosts found their rhythm again.

At the latest when Kerstin Wohlbold hit the net to make it 27:21 the deal was sealed.

Best Russian scorer was Ekaterina Davydenko with five goals.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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