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27.10.2013, 18:54
Montenegro, Norway and Sweden make it two from two in EHF EURO Qualification
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ROUND REVIEW - Part 1: The two finalists of the Women's EHF EURO 2012 are getting closer to the 2014 final tournament by recording their second win in their respective second qualifier. Sweden also cheer again, while Russia beat Germany
 

Montenegro, Norway and Sweden make it two from two in EHF EURO Qualification

After Spain had taken their second victory in their second qualification match for the Women's EHF EURO 2014 on Saturday, the 2012 finalists, Montenegro and Norway, as well as Sweden followed suit on Sunday.

Russia defeated Germany in the re-match after they had lost the first encounter on Wednesday.

Group 3: Portugal vs. Montenegro 24:29 (9:11)

The Portuguese team turned out to be a much stronger opponent than Montenegro, the defending champions, originally expected.

Portugal had clearly improved compared to their 20:35 away defeat against Czech Republic and played on eye level for 50 minutes.

But in the same manner as they won against Poland on Wednesday, Montenegro were the dominant team in the final stages and secured their second victory which has already pushed open widely the gate to the Women's EHF EURO 2014.

After an equal first half, in which Montenegro were constantly in the lead after Portugal very briefly enjoyed a 2:1 lead at the very beginning, the hosts scored three unanswered goals right at the start of the second half to go ahead 12:11.

But then the team of head coach Dragan Adzic found its rhythm and efficiency again, but who thought the match was already decided when Montenegro first led 20:15 and eventually 22:17 was wrong.

Portugal continued to give it all they had and hoped for a major sensation until the score stood at 21:23.

But Jelena Despotovic's double strike to make it 25:21 in Montenegro's favour was the key to secure the second victory for the visiting team that had to replace Wednesday’s top scorer Katarin Bulatovic and top star Milena Knezevic.

Montenegro's best scorers against Portugal were Jovanka Radicevic and Radmila Petrovic who netted seven times each.

Portugal's Vera Andrade Lopez was the overall top scorer of the match with eight strikes.

Group 5: Switzerland vs. Sweden 22:30 (11:13)

Sweden have made a major step towards the EHF EURO 2014. After securing its opening victory against Slovenia on Wednesday, the team of Torbjörn Klingvall had no problems in keeping its clean record against a bravely fighting Swiss team, which remains on zero points after two rounds have been played.

The hosts showed a very strong first half and even though the Swedish team were constantly in the lead after the score had stood at 4:4, the hosts never surrendered and continously put pressure on the Scandinavian squad.

After a two-goal backlog at the break, Switzerland kept up with their opponents until 15:18, then they lacked power, experience and skills to threaten the second Swedish victory in the EHF EURO 2014 Qualification.

At the latest when Sweden were ahead by seven goals (24:17) in the 49th minute, the match's winners were confirmed.

Sweden intermediately took th egap to nine goals at 29:20 and eventually had eight between them and Switzerland.

Best scorers were Lisa Frey and Katrin Weigelt (Switzerland) and Hanna Fogelström and Isabell Gullden (Sweden) who all scored six goals each.

Group 6: Norway vs. Romania 30:18 (14:9)

The way to final tournament in Croatia and Hungary should be free of any obstacles now for the five times EHF EURO champions, Norway.

Following a hotly contested 25:23 away victory against Romania on Wednesday, the reigning world and Olympic champions taught their opponents a lesson in international handball in the re-match.

With their ever dangerous counter-attacks and their solid-rock defence Norway left no doubts from the very beginning of the match which team will leave the court victorious.

Until the 20th minute when the score stood at 9:8, the run-down was the similar to the first leg, but then Norway shut their shop and allowed Romania only one single goal in the last ten minutes of the first half, forging ahead to a five-goal gap at the break.

They virtually sealed the deal in their favour with two unanswered goals making it 16:9 at the beginning of the second half, but the Norwegian hunger had not been stilled.

In the 49th minute Mörk scored for the first double-figured distance at 26:16, and despite slowing down in the final stages the gap eventually increased to twelve goals.

Best scorers were Heidi Loke (Norway) and Luciana Andreea Marin (Romania) with six goals each.

After two defeats against Norway, Romania now need to win the direct encounter against Belarus in June 2014 to book their ticket to the EHF EURO 2014, while Norway are almost already qualified.

Group 7: Russia vs. Germany 29:28 (13:11)

Russia have learnt their lesson from the 27:32 defeat in the first leg against Germany on Wednesday.

The German catch-up chase, boosted by overall nine goals of Susann Müller, came too late to turn the match around.

The best Russian scorer was Ksenia Makeeva with five goals.

Both teams will face FYR Macedonia in March and June – and with two points each on their respective accounts, they are likely to book the ticket to Hungary and Croatia.

The advantage for Germany: If both Russia and Germany are equal in points at the end, the team of coach Heine Jensen has won the direct encounter thanks to the better goal difference.

Germany were in the lead only twice in the entire 60 minutes, first at 3:2 and then at 10:9, while Russia forged ahead in the middle of the second half after the match had been played more or less on eye level for 46 minutes.

But four unanswered goals that took Russia from leading 23:21 to 27:21 put them on the winners' track.

However, in the dying minutes of the matches when they led 28:23, Russia suddenly lacked concentration and Germany scored a 5:1 series – which in the end was not enough to take away at least one point.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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