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18.06.2017, 17:22
Clean record for Germany, consolation for Poland
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ROUND REVIEW 1: Belarus draw with Serbia to secure top spot in Group 2 while Poland and Germany take wins on the final day of EHF EURO 2018 Qualification.
 

Clean record for Germany, consolation for Poland

Piotr Przybecki remains unbeaten as new coach of Poland, but the first victory of his era (32:31 against Romania) came too late on Sunday as the 2016 hosts had already missed out on qualification for EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia.

In the same Group 2, Belarus confirmed their top position following a draw with Serbia. And in Group 5, defending champions Germany kept their clean record despite fielding only four court players of the Olympic squad against Switzerland.

GROUP 2:
Poland vs Romania 32:31 (19:13)

A ‘future team’ secured the first victory for Poland in the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification. After the World Championship 2015 bronze medallists had already failed on their way to Croatia following three straight defeats and coach Talant Dujshebaev had been replaced by Piotr Przybecki, Poland have taken three points in their first two official matches under the new coach after their 34:34 draw with Serbia on Sunday.

With nothing but prestige at stake - Romania had missed a ticket to Croatia - Poland grabbed the chance to take revenge for their 28:23 defeat in the first leg, though Romania finished still finished the group in third position.

Man of the match was 19-year-old right wing Arkadiusz Moryto from Zaglebie Lubin, who scored an impressive 10 goals from 11 attempts. Another left-handed player, Rafal Przybylski, scored eight times for the hosts.

Poland built an eight-goal lead (17:9) before Romania found their rhythm and reduced the deficit goal by goal. They were only down by two (27:25) with 14 minutes left.

In the thrilling closing minutes, Marius Sadoveac scored three in a row to level for Romania (31:31) before Piotr Chrapkowski secured victory for Poland with 18 seconds left on the clock.

Belarus vs Serbia 27:27 (13:10)

After a strong Serbian start, Belarus took the upper hand with four unanswered goals (from 4:5 to 9:5). From then until 18 seconds before the end of the match, the hosts remained in the lead.

Nemanja Obradovic levelled for Serbia, but the draw was still enough for Belarus to finish on top of Group 2 ahead of their opponents. Both teams had already been confirmed as EHF EURO 2018 participants before the start of the match.

Finishing on eight points each, the direct encounters decided the final standings, with Belarus getting the advantage based on their 36:27 win in the first leg.

Remarkably enough, it was Petar Djordjic, who will join Belorussian top club Meshkov Brest next season, who became the best scoring Serb with nine goals. But for a long period it was his individual fight against a well-balanced team of head coach Iouri Chevtsov.

The hosts were ahead by five goals (20:15) at one point but Serbia gained control in the last quarter of the match. Djordjic’s eighth strike five minutes before the end made it 24:25, and the match had turned into a thriller.

Both sides took two timeouts each in the final six minutes. Chevtsov’s last green card came 34 seconds before the end, right after Djordjic’s strike for the 27:26. But his team caused a turnover, Obradovic found the net for 27:27 - and Uladzislau Kulesh missed the last Belorussian chance.

Best scorers for the hosts were Andrei Yurinok with seven goals and Artur Kavatski with six.

GROUP 5:
Germany vs Switzerland 29:22 (12:13)

Though there was not much at stake for the defending champions, 8513 fans attended the match in Bremen, in which Germany turned a half-time deficit into their sixth win in their sixth qualification match.

Only both EHF EURO 2016 finalists - Germany and Spain - have finished their qualifying campaign for Croatia with a clean record of twelve points.

After confirming the top spot in this group with their away win at Portugal, coach Christian Prokop gave many young guns a chance, like U-21 players Marian Michalczyk and Tim Suton, and debutants Marcel Schiller and Erik Hornke.

The youngsters started well and led by three goals (9:6) before Switzerland turned the match around at the end of the first half.

Who else than their mastermind Andy Schmid, from German champions Rhein-Neckar Löwen, led Switzerland to a surprising 13:12 half-time lead. Schmid ended up as top scorer of the match, with 10 goals.

But right after the break Germany accelerated, backed by the saves of goalkeeper Andreas Wolff.

Göppingen’s EHF Cup winner Schiller (seven goals) and line player Jannick Kohlbacher (five) took the responsibility in attack, and even two Swiss timeouts within four minutes did not stop the defending EHF EURO champions.

Even Wolff himself scored - into an empty Swiss goal - to give the hosts a 24:17 lead. That difference of seen remained until the final whistle.

Photo: Sascha Klahn


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew
 
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