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08.06.2015, 14:52
Rutenka may miss decisive clash in Bosnia-Herzegovina
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PREVIEW: Belarus captain Siarhei Rutenka might not be able to play his team's final two EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers, but two youngsters are ready to step in
 

Rutenka may miss decisive clash in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Siarhei Rutenka, the captain and most successful player in the Belarus national team, may miss the decisive qualifiers for the EHF EURO 2016.

The left back from Barcelona suffers from an injury which may rule him out for the games against Bosnia-Herzegovina (11 June in Zenica) and Lithuania (14 June in Minsk).

"Rutenka's injury is a big concern for me," Belarus national coach Iuri Chevtsov told ehf-euro.com. "Siarhei is not with the team now as he will fly from Barcelona directly to Zenica. And there we will see if he is able to play."

The match against Bosnia-Herzegovina is crucial for both nations. As Denmark have already secured a spot in the final tournament, earning the maximum of eight points from four games, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus are fighting for the second place in Group 2.

At the moment they both have three points, with Bosnia-Herzegovina occupying second rank thanks to a their better goal difference. The first game between the two teams ended with a 25:25 draw back in October.

Even another draw in Zelica may be beneficial for Chevtsov's team as Belarus‘ remaining fixture is at home against group underdogs Lithuania, while Bosnia-Herzegovina are going to travel to Denmark.

In early May, Lithuania gave Belarus their neighbours a helping hand by surprisingly beating the Bosnia team 19:15.

"I watched that game and I think that Lithuanians played well in defence, while the Bosnian players did not show enough commitment," says Chevtsov.

This spring, Chevtsov's players hoped to grab some points againt group leaders Denmark, but their dreams did not come true as the Danes were too strong both in Minsk and in Aarhus.

However, there were some positives for Belarus even in these matches. In particular, two 20-year-old players, Artsem Karalek and Andrey Yurynok, showed a very good game. Belarus certainly has some talent for the future, and even now, if Rutenka is absent at the upcoming games, these youngsters will definitely try hard to make up for his absence.

Belarus also faced Bosnia-Herzegovina in January at the World Championship in Qatar, when Chevtsov's team beat their opponents in the President’s Cup. But the coach believes that this game is not relevant any more.

"It had nothing to do with the EURO qualification. Besides, the Bosnians were missing some of their best players. So I pay more attention to our game in Minsk last year. At home we were favourites, but not now. Chances are 50:50.

"I expect a tough game in which my players should show great commitment and courage to accomplish our goal," says Iuri Chevtsov.

The Belarus squad for the EHF EURO qualification matches against Bosnia-Herzegovina (11 June) and Lithuania (14 June):

Goalkeepers: Vitali Charapenka (HC Meshkov Brest), Ivan Matskevich (SKA Minsk), Vyachaslau Saldatsenka (SKA Minsk)

Line players: Aliaksandr Tsitou (KS Azoty-Pulawy), Maxim Babichau (HC Meshkov Brest), Artsem Karalek (SKA Minsk), Yury Lukyanchuk (SKA Minsk)

Wing players: Ivan Brouka (SKA Minsk), Andrei Yurynok (Vityaz), Maxim Baranau (HC Meshkov Brest), Dzianis Rutenka (HC Meshkov Brest)

Back court: Siarhei Rutenka (Barcelona), Dzmitry Chystabayeu (Permskie Medvedi), Viktar Zaitsau (SKA Minsk), Barys Pukhouski (SKA Minsk), Aliaksandr Bachko (SKA Minsk), Dzmitry Nikulenkau (HC Meshkov Brest), Kiryl Kniazeu (SKA Minsk), Aleh Astrashapkin (HC Meshkov Brest), Siarhei Shylovich (HC Meshkov Brest)


TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / ts
 
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