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12.03.2016, 19:30
Russia are the first to qualify for the EHF EURO 2016
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ROUND REVIEW: Trefilov's women clinch the berth to the final tournament in Sweden after a thriller in Denmark, while Finland only score eight times against Slovakia
 

Russia are the first to qualify for the EHF EURO 2016

Russia have made it. Thanks to a 24:22 win at Denmark, the team of Evgeny Trefilov has become the first to qualify for the Women's EHF EURO 2016, having the optimum of eight points after four rounds on their account.

Russia will even finish the group on top, as the only chance that Portugal leave them behind after a 20-goal-defeat in the first leg is simply impossible.

As expected, Slovakia did not have any problems beating Finland clearly - the Scandinavians only scored eight times in 60 minutes.

GROUP 5

Slovakia vs. Finland 25:8 (11:3)

Never before in this EHF EURO qualification has any team scored only three goals in one half, the lowest tally so far were five Italian goals against the Czech Republic (5:14).

Like in the first leg on Wednesday (29:15), Slovakia did not have any problems. Having four points on their account, they are back in the race for Sweden 2016.

If Poland lose against Hungary on Sunday, Slovakia and Poland are equal in points before the last double-header in June.

The top scorer of the one-sided match was Martina Skolkova with seven goals, only one less than all Finnish players scored in 60 minutes.

 

Whe the score stood at 7:1 in favour of the hosts after 22 minutes of play, the deal was sealed.

Finland are not used to having two matches on top level within four days, so they did not only lack international experience but also the skills and the power to stand the Slovak match play.

The 14:4 was the first double-figured advance, at 21:6 15 goals separated both teams for the first time. In the end, Finland only had scored with every fifth attack (19 per cent).

GROUP 6

Denmark vs. Russia 22:24 (8:14)

Russia looked like the clear winners already, before Denmark improved after the 40th minute. Again missing several key players due to injuries, the base for a home success after the 27:31 away defeat earlier in the week was anything but perfect for the former EHF EURO champions.

After an equal start, the Russians forged ahead from a 7:6 lead after 18 minutes to the clear half-time advance of 14:8.

The defence and goalkeeping of the away team was close to perfection in that period, and Denmark only scored twice in more than 12 minutes.

Thanks to a quick double strike for the 16:8 lead right after the break, Russia seemed to be on the winners way already before Denmark started to strike back.

Backed by their fans in Naestved, rising like a phoenix and after scoring an 8:2 series within ten minutes from 9:17 to 17:19 everything was open again twelve minutes before the final buzzer.

In contrast to the first leg, when she had scored nine goals, young left-handed Anna Vyakhireva this time was controlled by the Danes, netting in only four times.

Anne Mette Hansen, top scorer with six goals, led her team in that period, while Russia had lost their rhythm. When Anne Cecilie Dornonville de la Cour scored for the 21:23, Russian coach Evgeny Trefilov took his final timeout exactly two minutes before the end.

The last 90 seconds were a pure thriller: First Danish head coach Klavs Bruun Jörgensen also took his timeout, then Daria Dmitrieva received a suspension, before Rikke Skov reduced the gap to 22:23 with 50 seconds still to play.

But finally it was Vykhireva, who sealed the deal, allowing the Russians celebrate their berth for the EHF EURO 2016.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ec
 
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