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29.10.2014, 21:38
Romania deny Kosovo a successful debut on the European stage
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ROUND REVIEW 2018: In their first EHF EURO qualifier after being accepted as full EHF member federation, Kosovo put up a good but eventually unsuccessful fight against Romania in the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification, while Estonia deny Georgia their first victory since 2007
 

Romania deny Kosovo a successful debut on the European stage

The first qualification phase for the Men’s EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia has thrown off, with matches taking place in Bucharest and and Tallin on Wednesday, and it were the respective hosts, Romania and Estonia, who started their campaigns successfully.

Group B: Estonia vs. Georgia 28:26 (16:15)

As they missed their top star Mait Patrail, who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury, Estonia had some severe troubles ousting a bravely fighting Georgia.

Since 19 January 2007 (22:21 against Bulgaria) Georgia have not won an EHF EURO qualification match. This series now continues, but they were very close to ending it.

Vladimir Rusia, who scored ten times, and Revaz Chanturia, who netted eight goals from eight attempts, were the key players in the Georgian team, while Estonia had its most successful scorers in Mikk Pinonnen and Kristo Järve, who scored five goals each.

Georgia surprised Estonia at the beginning of game, running away to a 10:7 lead. The joy was short-lived though, as Estonia had turned the match around at half-time with the score standing at 16:15 – but things did not go easier for Estonia in the second half.

Georgia were always hot on Estonia's heels and it was only Martin Johansson’s goal in the 55th minute which brought the score to 27:23 and decided the game.

Group C: Romania vs. Kosovo 36:24 (17:10)

Eight goals of top scorer Florim Hoxha were not enough for Kosovo to grant them a victorious debut on the European handball stage after they were accepted as full member federation by the EHF Congress in September.

Kosovo had to accept that on this night Romania were the better team in all areas, underlined by the fact that all Romanian field players scored.

The win also meant successful start for new head coach Aiher Omer, who coaches Romania for the third time in his career but who was only recently appointed to his third stint at the helm.

Omer’s team had already decided the game at the break, not granting Kosovo the lead at any given time.

It was only in the first 17 minutes with the score at 7:6 for Romania that Kosovo withstood the pressure.

Led by top scorer Marius Stavrositu (six goals in the game) Romania then started a 10:4-series and had more or less pocketed the victory at half-time (17:10).

Kosovo came back out of the dressing rooms slightly stronger, as they reduced the gap to 15:19 and the kept it to 20:26 in the 49th minute, but they ran out of steam and Romania used all their prowess to increase the gap goal by goal and eventually take home a convincing 36:24 win.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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