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13.06.2015, 19:58
Israel set up decisive game against Finland
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REVIEW: On the second day of qualification tournaments, Israel won against Kosovo 24:21, while Azerbaijan took a close game against Faroe Islands 29:28
 

Israel set up decisive game against Finland

Israel and Finland battle it out on Sunday which team will eventually top the table in Group B and make it to the next phase of the Women's EHF EURO 2016 Qualification.

Israel have beaten Kosovo 24:21 (9:8) on Saturday to set up as this decisive game.

The same holds true for Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in Group A, after Azerbaijan beat Faroe Islands 29:28 (14:14).

After Finland and Bulgaria had already won their respective first matches on Friday, Israel and Azerbaijan started their campaigns on Saturday with matches against Kosovo and Faroe Islands.

Israel faced a Kosovo side that had lost Friday's match against Finland 19:27 but was determined not go down without a fight in what was their history's first Women's EHF EURO 2016 Qualification.

The beginning of the match was imprinted by turnovers and missed chances, hence it took until the 4th minute when Kosovo's Burneta Rama scored the first goal.

Israel responded two minutes later with a penalty converted by Shira Vikrat, but the game remained a low-scoring affair, and at the break the score stood at 9:8 for Israel.

For the first 15 minutes of the second half it then even looked as if Kosovo were able to spring a surprise as they led by one goal on several occasions, but Israel always came back and with seven minutes left to play they led by two goals (20:18) for the first time.

Even a red card for Israel's Or Turgeman in the 55th minute did not bring Kosovo back in the game, so that Israel eventually won 24:21 and will now face tournament hosts Finland to play for first rank in Group B on Sunday.

Close game in Group A

In Group A Azerbaijan had a tougher battle to fight than they probably expected against Faroe Islands.

After almost 10 minutes of play Faroe Islands led 4:2 and they did not allow Bulgaria to take over once in the first half, with the score at 14:14 at the break.

However, it was Azerbaijan's Inara Yusibova who scored the first goal of the second half, giving her team the first lead in this match.

It did not lead to any more stability in their game, but on the other side of the court Faroe Islands were not really able to benefit from the numerous, twelve overall, technical mistakes Azerbaijan committed.

With ten minutes left Azerbaijan had carved out a three-goal lead at 27:24, and even though Faroe Islands tried to stage a late comeback it was eventually enough for Azerbaijan to leave the court with a 29:28 win.

While Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in Group A as well as Finland and Israel in Group B will play for first rank in their respective groups, the Women's EHF EURO 2016 Qualification is already over for Faroe Islands and Kosovo who finish with zero points respectively. 

Only the group winners advance to the next phase of the qualification. The winners of Group A will be seeded alongside Spain, Netherlands and Austria in Group 3 of the second qualification phase.

The winners of Group B face Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in Group 5.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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