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14.06.2015, 21:20
Romania and Belgium through to play-offs
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REVIEW: Romania and Belgium qualified for the EHF EURO 2018 play-offs after their final matches of the first qualification phase
 

Romania and Belgium through to play-offs

Romania demolished Italy to add two points to their six and confirm their spot on top of the table of Group C as the first stage of qualification for the EHF EURO 2018 wrapped up on Sunday night.

Belgium lost to Greece, but not by enough to see them eliminated. Belgium and Greece each have six points in their tally, but Belgium won the direct encounter on aggregate

Romania and Belgium will therefore proceed to the EHF EURO 2018 play-offs, where they will play the three bottom-ranked teams from the current EHF EURO 2016 Qualification.

Group A: Greece vs. Belgium 29:25 (15:11)

As the arguable favourites ahead of the first-leg match on Wednesday, which Belgium won, Greece had something to prove on Sunday night. They also needed to win by six goals in order to advance following their 25:30 loss in the first leg.

After leading by two at the 15-minute mark (7:5), Greece steadily increased their lead to hold a four-goal advantage at the break.

Though Greece maintained the lead throughout the second half, whether they could create the six-goal margin they needed remained the big question.

As the match entered its last ten minutes the answer appeared to be no. The hosts were ahead, but only by two (23:21), which would not be enough to put them through to the next phase.

But Greece kept fighting – and they almost got there. Inside the last minute Greece were ahead by five (29:24), until a Simon Ooms goal almost on the buzzer destroyed their hopes.

Greece’s highest scorer for the match was Nikolas Tzoufras (eight goals). Damian Kedziora scored five to take the honour for Belgium.

Group C: Romania vs. Italy 44:25 (23:13)

Romania dominated the match from start to finish, earning a deserved place in the next stage of qualification for the EHF EURO 2018.

After 15 minutes Romania already lead 14:6, which was an ominous sign for how the next three quarters of the match would go for Italy.

Holding a ten-goal lead at half-time, Romania did not let up, punishing their visitors in the second half to streak ahead and win by almost 20 goals.

Iuliu Csepreghi (eight goals) and Andrei Mihalcea (seven goals) were the top scorers for Romania. Italy’s Dean Turkovic scored the most for the guests with four goals.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ts
 
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