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11.06.2015, 22:36
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus split the points
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REVIEW: Belarus and Bosnia-Herzegovina ended their EHF EURO 2016 qualifier in a 22:22, postponing the decision about the second team to qualify from Group 2 to Sunday
 

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus split the points

A nail-biting end to Thursday’s EHE EURO 2016 Qualification Phase match in Zenica ended with a 22:22 draw between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus.

Bosnia-Herzegovina were composed, confident and looked to be on the way to victory for the first 45 minutes of the match, until Belarus came from nowhere to end the match with a twist.

With this result the race for second rank in Group 2, which secures qualification to the EHF EURO 2016, is still on as both teams have four points.

But Belarus, who play at home against Lithuania, arguably have the easier task ahead compared to Bosnia-Herzegovina who have to travel to Denmark to face the EHF EURO 2014 finalists.

Belarus began with an aggressive defensive system that did not phase the Bosnian backcourt – the hosts found the gaps easily to create a three-goal lead midway through the half (9:6).

Belarus coach Iouri Chevtsov was forced to call a timeout and bring on injured star Siarhei Rutenka, who had sat off for the first quarter of the match, as an attacking specialist.

The guests recorded a three-goal run to level the score at the 20-minute mark (9:9), but their poor scoring and shooting efficiency through the opening minutes haunted them as Bosnia-Herzegovina remained in control.

As the half entered its final five minutes Bosnia’s strong defence helped them keep Belarus under control as they inched ahead to the lead once again (13:10), maintaining a two-goal advantage into the break.

The second half began with Belarus looking more threatening in attack, and as the minutes ticked by the crowd in Zenica watched the visitors narrow the score line to just one (20:19, 45th minute).

Belarus line player Artsem Karalek made his first goal of the match count when he levelled the score with a little over ten minutes remaining (20:20).

Errors from both teams and some spectacular saves from Bosnian goalkeeper Nebojsa Grahovac kept the score where it was for six minutes until a rocket from Dejan Malinovic (six goals) put the hosts temporarily in front (21:20).

Score-levelling expert Karalek then struck again before Dzianis Rutenka scored from right wing and Belarus took the lead (21:22) inside the final three minutes.

With just over a minute remaining Josip Peric put the final goal on the board to even the score for the last time, and both sides walked away with one point.

Malinovic was Bosnia-Herzegovina’s top scorer, while Barys Pukhouski scored the most goals (six) for Belarus.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ts
 
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