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11.06.2017, 19:00
Faroe Islands and Kosovo make history
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DAY REVIEW: Faroe Islands and Kosovo both qualify for the second qualification phase for an EHF EURO for the first time ever.
 

Faroe Islands and Kosovo make history

Both Faroe Islands and Kosovo made history on Sunday afternoon, as Qualification Round 1 for the Women's EHF EURO 2018 concluded.

Victories for both nations on the last match day ensured they qualified for the second and final qualification round for the first time in their respective histories.

Both teams could have gone through with a draw, but neither left anyone in any doubt about their strength.

Group A
Finland vs Faroe Islands 17:20 (5:8)

For the first time ever, the Faroe Islands are preparing for the second and final qualification phase of an EHF EURO.

Their three goal win against Finland in Athens on Sunday afternoon ensured coach Scott Harrington's troops advanced.


Due to their 25:24 win against Greece on Saturday, a draw would have been enough for the Faroe Islands while Finland needed a win of at least nine goals in order to proceed to the next phase.

Any smaller Finnish win would send Greece into the second round, after the Greek's 29:20 win against Finland in the opening match of the group on Friday.

However, with their clear win the Faroe Islands made sure no arithmetic was needed.

Finland got the far better start, leading 3:0 after five minutes, but only scored two goals for the rest of the first half.

Faroe Islands made use of their opponent's scoring problems by netting five successive goals and turning a 4:2 deficit into a 7:4 lead.

Both teams practiced 5-1 defences, which disrupted the attacking play for both sides in the first half.

The final 30 minutes was a higher scoring affair, but the Faroe Islands still led throughout. Finland reduced the defecit to just one goal a couple of times, but that was as close as they ever got.

In Qualification Round 2, the Faroe Islands will face Sweden, Serbia and FYR Macedonia in Group 3.

Group B
Israel vs Kosovo 25:32 (12:12)

With no less than 16 goals from 16 attempts, left back Leonora Demaj of Danish second league club SønderjyskE was pristine in Prishtina.

She played a crucial part as Kosovo qualified for the second qualification round for the first time in the history of the young nation.

Kosovo would have qualified with a draw, due to having defeated Georgia by more goals than Israel did, and all the way through the first half a draw seemed like a very probable result.


The two teams took turns at being one goal up without ever being able to increase their leads, and at half time the game was level at 12:12.

However, from the start of the second half Kosovo dominated and turned the game in their favour.

Israel never managed to recover from a shocking start to the second half, as Kosovo scored four consecutive goals inside the first four minutes to lead 16:12.

Instead, Kosovo would increase their lead steadily throughout the rest of the match, even twice having a nine-goal lead before eventually winning by seven. Their place in history was confirmed.

In the second qualification phase Kosovo will meet Netherlands, Hungary and Belarus in Group 7.
 


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ap
 
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