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03.01.2018, 21:29
Clear away wins for Russia and Switzerland
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DAY REVIEW: Luxembourg and Estonia go down at home in their respective groups, as the next set of qualifiers for the 2019 IHF Men´s World Championship got underway.
 

Clear away wins for Russia and Switzerland

Russia and Switzerland got off to a perfect start as the qualification matches for the 2019 IHF Men´s World Championship in Denmark and Germany began again this evening (Wednesday 3 January).

In Qualification Europe - Group 1, Russia won 27:19 away against Luxembourg, while Switzerland opened their qualifying campaign, winning their first match in Group 6, as Estonia were defeated 26:22.

Group 1: Luxembourg vs Russia 19:27 (8:12)

Russia earned their third win in three matches in Group 1, winning 27:19 away against Luxembourg, but it took them nearly the whole first half to gain control.

The Russians had success pushing Timur Dibirov and later Roman Ostashchenko forward in a 5-1 defence, but at the start, the Russian attack had big problems scoring.

In a low-scoring beginning, Luxembourg were even leading 3:1, 5:3, 6:5 and 7:6, before six Russian goals in a row changed the score in favour for the visitors, 12:7.

After leading 12:8 at half time, Russia remained in control throughout the second half, going as far ahead as by nine goals (25:16, 26:17) before eventually winning by eight goals.

As only the group winner proceeds to the play-offs for the final qualification round, Russia are now close to booking their ticket for the next phase, while Luxembourg sit last with just a solitary point.

Group 6: Estonia vs Switzerland 22:26 (11:14)

Despite missing their greatest star Andy Schmid, who was not available, and being without four other players due to injury, Switzerland managed to open their qualification campaign with a win.

Playing their first match in Group 6, the Swiss led all the way right through to the final score of 26:22 away against Estonia. They were 5:1 up early in the game and stayed in control for the rest of the first half which they won 14:11.

Enthusiastically supported by their home crowd in Tallinn, Estonia managed to reduce the deficit to 17:16 early in the second half, but this was as far as they got.

In the last quarter of an hour, Switzerland were constantly leading by three or four goals without allowing their opponents to get into the game again.

“I am satisfied. We knew it would be tough to come here and win against a team who have defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said the Swiss goalkeeper Nikola Portner after the win. “However, I had a good feeling from the start, but with three games left, nothing is decided yet in this group.”

All three teams in Group 6, Bosnia Herzegovina, Switzerland and Estonia are now on two points each.

Photo: handball.ee/Helin Potter


TEXT: Peter Bruun/amc
 
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