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13.06.2015, 21:17
Luxembourg make it to the play-offs
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REVIEW: Estonia let the ticket to the next phase of the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification slip from their hands after a 26:29 defeat at home to Luxembourg
 

Luxembourg make it to the play-offs

Luxemburg have sprung a major surprise in the first stage of the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification.

Thanks to an unexpected 29:26 away win against Estonia on Saturday, the team of head coach Adrian Stot overtook Estonia in Group B's last match.

All teams including Georgia have four points on their account, but Luxembourg have the best goal difference (+6) compared to Estonia (+2) and Georgia (-8).

Luxembourg will face one of the three lowest ranked teams of the current EHF EURO 2016 Qualification in the play-offs in April 2016 for a spot in the second phase of the 2018 qualification.

Group B: Estonia vs. Luxembourg 26:29 (17:14)

First Estonia looked troubled, then they eventually let the match and the ticket to the intermediate play-offs slip from their hands. 

It looked as if Estonia's confidence was too high after they had won the first leg 31:26 at Luxembourg on Wednesday.

At half-time Estonia still led 17:14 and things were certainly going their way, but the more the match progressed the more confident Luxembourg got. 

In the 42nd minute the lead had melted to one goal at 21:20, and Estonia were desperately looking for Mait Patrail to join the game. But the team's top star only sat on the bench and was not able to join the game because of an injury - and his team lacked his experience in the end.

Despite eight goals of Dener Jaanimaa, the hosts were not able to stop Luxembourg taking control in the last quarter of an hour, as they scored four unanswered goals to suddenly be in the lead 24:21.

Estonia had lost their rhythm completely and was not able to turn the tables again in their favour.

When Luxembourg's top scorer Yannick Bardina (eight goals) scored to bring the score to 29:26 two minutes before the end, the miracle had become reality.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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