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29.10.2014, 19:53
Lazarov's gala performance crushes Swiss hopes
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ROUND REVIEW 2016 - 1: Switzerland were left without a chance in their EHF EURO 2016 Qualification opener against FYR Macedonia, while Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus tie in a thrilling match on Wednesday
 

Lazarov's gala performance crushes Swiss hopes

One convincing win and one thrilling draw – that is how the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification started on Wednesday evening.

Macedonian striker Kiril Lazarov produced a true gala, contributing 13 goals to FYR Macedonia's win against Switzerland, while Bosnia-Herzegovina took home a well-deserved point from their away match against Belarus.

Group 2: Belarus vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina 25:25 (12:13)

Bosnia-Herzegovina start their EHF EURO 2016 Qualification with a well-deserved point they take home from their away match against Belarus.

Courtesy of two goals in the dying minutes of the match in Minsk, they proved that they are a force to reckon with in their quest to make it to their first EHF EURO event.

On the other side of the court, Belarus left with less than expected considering their 25:23 lead in the 58th minute – or with just what they hoped for, considering that they were trailing by four midway through the first half and early in the second.

Best scorers in this thrilling opener of Group 2 were Fahruk Vrazalic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Barys Puklhouski (Belarus) with six goals each.

Bosnia-Herzegovina had the better start as they forged ahead to 6:4 and 9:5 in the first 20 minutes.

But Belarus stroke back, reducing the gap to just 12:13 at the break, before the Bosnians again took a four- goal lead at the beginning of the second half when the hosts did not score for ten minutes.

However, Belarus improved their defence, turned the match around at 18:17 and even extended the lead to 22:19.

With 100 seconds on the clock, the team of Youri Shevtsov seemed to have pocketed the victory at 25:23, but Bosnia-Herzegovina stroke twice more to level the game at 25:25.

Group 6: FYR Macedonia vs. Switzerland 27:20 (12:8)

If there was another proof needed, how important Kiril Lazarov is for Macedonian handball, it came in this match.

The left-handed world-class player produced a brilliant gala in Skopje and – figuratively speaking – beat Switzerland on his own, scoring 13 of the 27 Macedonian goals.

Already after the first half Lazarov's efficiency was impressive, as he needed just ten attempts to score seven of his team's first 12 goals.

However, the final result does not reflect Switzerland's performance, especially in the first minutes after the break, when they reduced the score from 8:12 at half-time to 11:12.

But they lacked the stamina to keep this momentum going. Still led by the unstoppable Lazarov, FYR Macedonia scored eight goals while Switzerland only netted twice, bringing the score to 20:13 in the 45th minute.

And whatever Switzerland, who had their best scorer in playmaker Andy Schmid, tried afterwards, the Macedonians had a fitting answer – and many a time it was called Kiril Lazarov.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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