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14.06.2015, 18:03
Group 5’s second spot goes to Russia
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REVIEW 1: Russia destroyed Portugal’s EHF EURO 2016 hopes in Moscow, Germany defeated Austria and Sweden beat Slovakia in the first of Sunday’s qualification games
 

Group 5’s second spot goes to Russia

The final EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Phase matches started with a bang on Sunday night. Russia defeated Portugal in a tense match that saw a total of 16 two-minute suspensions and one red card to take the second Group 5 spot in Poland.

In Group 3 and 7, Sweden and Germany recorded expected wins over Slovakia and Austria, respectively.

Group 3: Sweden vs. Slovakia 27:22 (16:10)

Already-qualified Sweden were firm favourites ahead of Sunday’s meeting, and the home side did not disappoint fans in Stockholm, defeating Slovakia to add another two points to their tally.

As Sweden won the first-leg match by ten goals, the chances of Slovakia threatening the Scandinavian side were slim.

Sweden wasted little time in creating a lead. Midway through the first half the hosts led by six (9:3), and by half-time they held a six-goal advantage.

In the second half Sweden’s concentration lapsed and Slovakia staged a comeback. The first ten minutes of the second period saw the guests dominate with a 2:5 run (18:15).

By the 45th minute, Slovakia had turned a six-goal deficit to two (20:18).

But it was not enough and ultimately the game belonged to Sweden, who pulled ahead once more to record a comfortable win.

Niclas Ekberg was Sweden’s top scorer with 10 goals, while Martin Stranovsky tallied six for Slovakia.

Group 5: Russia vs. Portugal 35:33 (15:16)

It was clear tension in the air from the start as both teams quickly progressed from warnings to receive their first two-minute suspensions within the first ten minutes.

The score was level midway through the period (8:8) before a couple of quick goals from Timur Dibirov (11 goals total) and Gleb Kalarash gave Russia control.

The hosts lead ranged from one to three goals as the half progressed, but Portugal fought back to level the score (13:13, 27th minute) then take a one-goal lead into the break.

It appeared the six-goal victory Portugal needed to book a spot at their first EHF EURO since 2006 was out of reach when the early stages of the second half saw the sides scoring one-for-one.

At the 45th minute (25:25) both teams had two players off with two-minute suspensions, which meant the crowd in Moscow were treated to a game of four-on-four.

Portugal coach Rolando Freitas then received a two-minute suspension, leaving his side with only three players on the court.

But Russia remained just one goal ahead until three successive goals from Dibirov gave the hosts a three-goal advantage as the match entered its final five minutes (33:30, 56th minute).

Dibirov’s run of goals proved the decider – Russia held on to take the win and book their ticket to Poland in the process.

 

Mobile reporter Merle Schaack talked to Germany's Max Musche after Germany beat Austria 31:29 in Sunday's #ehfeuro2016 qualification with one of the youngest German national team ever to take to the court.

Posted by EHF EURO on Sunday, June 14, 2015

Group 7: Germany vs. Austria 31:29 (14:13)

With Germany already qualified and Austria out of the running for the final tournament, the result of this game could affect little more than pride.

Germany took to the court with their youngest ever team against Austria, with their players’ average age just 23.75 years and Tobias Reichmann the veteran at 27.

The young German side quickly took the lead, but their three-goal advantage (7:4) in the 13th minute was answered by a 1:3 Austrian run that narrowed the score line to one.

Germany’s dominance early on was in large part due to their shooting percentage. 21-year-old right back Fabian Wiede (eight goals total) stood out with four goals from four attempts in the first 15 minutes.

Germany held a narrow lead at half-time (14:13) and came back in the second half to immediately begin increasing the score line.

In the end Wiede and Patrick Groetzki (seven goals) led their side to a victory that was never really in question.

Raul Santos was Austria’s highest scorer with eight goals.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ts
 
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