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04.05.2017, 19:10
Another shocking setback for Poland
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ROUND REVIEW 3: Belarus overrun the Dujshebaev squad, while Bosnia Herzegovina take their first points in the EURO 2018 qualification.
 

Another shocking setback for Poland

Three matches, zero points - red alert! Since Thursday night, Poland are very close to an early exit from the race towards the EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia.

The side of coach Talant Dujshebaev were heavily beaten in Belarus on Thursday night, having already lost against Serbia and Romania in the previous rounds. The hosts took the lead of their group at least until tonight's Romania vs Serbia encounter.

In Group 3, Bosnia Herzegovina won in Finland to take their first points in this competition. Three teams are now on two points in Group 3, and all three are four points behind the EHF EURO 2016 silver medallists Spain.

GROUP 2
Belarus vs Poland 32:23 (15:10)

Like at the 2017 World Championship, Belarus left Poland behind again - and in an even clearer way than they had expected.

The team of head coach Yuri Shevtsov have four points on their account, while Poland are still waiting for their first point and also have a miserable goal difference of minus 19 now.

The initial period was a rollercoaster ride. First, the hosts took a perfect start, forging ahead to 4:1. Then Poland turned the tide with three unanswered goals and were ahead by 8:7 after 18 minutes. This goal was the signal for Belarus to re-start their engines. As the 2016 EHF EURO hosts did not score any goal in the next ten minutes, the fans in Minsk went crazy as their side extended the gap easily to 12:8 with five goals in a row.

Even a time-out by angry coach Talant Dujshebaev did not stop the downswing - and at the break the gap had increased to 10:15.

After a strong first half by Artsem Karalek (top scorer with seven goals in total), Vadim Gayduchenko was the hero right after the break. His four quick goals caused the first nine-goal advantage for his side, and a state of shock for Poland who trailed 21:13 after 40 minutes.

The visitors surrendered, while now line player Karalek was on fire again. He - and Uladzislau Kulesh - were the Belarusian aces in the final stages, when the fans saw the first double-figured lead at 26:16 and the biggest gap at 29:18.

Poland were clearly beaten. Their best scorer was Przemyslaw Krajewski with five goals. Another defeat on Sunday at Plock could already mean the end of all their EURO dreams.

GROUP 3
Finland vs Bosnia-Herzegovina 27:32 (10:15)

Bosnia Herzegovina were ahead from the first to the last second - and well-deserved their first win in this qualification phase. Marko Panic was the key player in the first 15 minutes as he netted four times, in a game where he would score six goals in the first half and nine in total.

He paved the way for a clear 10:4 advantage for his side, who seemed to make short shrift of the Finnish side. After their two defeats against Spain and Austria, the match in Vantaa was something like a last chance for the visitors.

But Finland recovered quite well from the early shock and scored four straight goals to be back on track at 10:8. Bosnian coach Bilal Suman took his green card, and after six minutes without a goal, his team struck back again to extend the gap to five goals at the break.

The hosts tried hard, but could not reduce the distance to less than four goals. Finnish coach Kai Kekki took his time-out 13 minutes before the end, when his side was down by 24:19. Even being eight times in a one-man advantage against the toughly defending Balkan side, was not an advantage for the Scandinavians.

Despite strong performances from top scorers Teemu Tamminnen (six goals) and Nico Rönnberg (seven), the match was decided when Senjamin Buric netted his fourth goal from his fourth attempt to mak it 29:25.

Due to the defeat, the Finnish side still have to wait for their first win on home ground in a EURO qualification match since the 32:29 victory three years ago against Romania.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ap
 
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