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30.04.2015, 22:23
Balkan teams dominate final Round 3 qualifiers
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ROUND REVIEW 2: Wins for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro conclude the third round of the Men's EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
 

Balkan teams dominate final Round 3 qualifiers

Round 3 of the EHF EURO 2016 qualification was arguably not the most successful round for teams from former Yugoslavia – for example Serbia went down to Iceland, and Croatia lost to Norway – but eventually the round concluded with wins for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro – but both had to fight hard for their points.

Group 2: Bosnia Herzegovina vs. Lithuania 26:23 (13:10)

Lithuania had their opponents on the edge of defeat, but the Bosnian side did not fall.

This means that the bravely fighting Lithuanians remain on zero points, while Bosnia-Herzegovina have three points now, level with Belarus who had lost to Denmark earlier on Thursday – the hopes for the first Bosnian EHF EURO participation keep burning.

Bosnia-Herzegovina were not able to benefit from an early 9:5 lead, and even a 13:10 half-time advantage was no cushion to rest on for the team that had reached the World Championship for the first time this year.

The team of head coach Dragan Markovic was not able to continuously dominate the game; Lithuania exploited every Bosnian mistake, and in the 47th minute Skirmantas Pleta netted to give the Baltic side a 17:16 lead.

From that moment on the lead changed constantly between the two sides. However, most of the time Bosnia-Herzegovina scored first.

The match was decided when Lithuania's Jonas Truchanovicius was sent off for two minutes.

Alen Ovcina and Nikola Prce scored twice when Bosnia had one player extra on the court, and the team was ahead 23:21 with six minutes left to play when Prce scored his eighth goal to bring the score to 24:21 – a gap that Lithuania were not able to close again.

Best Lithuanian scorer was Benas Petreikis with six goals.

Group 4: Israel vs. Montenegro 19:22 (9:9)

It was a tough piece of work for Montenegro on Thursday until they had taken revenge for the defeat they had suffered against Israel in the EHF EURO 2014 Qualification almost two years ago.

With four points on their account, the Montenegrin side is now level with Serbia and Iceland, while Israel still remain on the bottom of the group table with zero points.

22-year-old Vladan Lipovina was the match winner for the Montenegro as he scored seven goals, while on the courts other end goalkeeper Mile Mijuskovic saved 13 shots.

The spectators in Tel Aviv saw the hosts playing on the same level as their opponents until the score of 11:11, which was the turning point in the second half when Montenegro took control of the game.

However, even an intermediate four-goal advantage was not enough for an early decision, as Israel again came close at 18:19.

Eventually a double strike of Mirko Radovic that brought the score from 20:18 to 22:28 granted Montenegro the victory.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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