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04.01.2018, 22:12
Turkey take pole position after thriller against Netherlands
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DAY REVIEW: Turkey clawed back a half-time deficit to beat the Netherlands at home while Slovakia and Belgium decisively won their 2019 IHF Men's World Championship qualification matches.
 

Turkey take pole position after thriller against Netherlands

Turkey took the lead in Group 5 of the 2019 IHF Men's World Championship qualification matches through a home win against the Netherlands, while Belgium defeated Greece on home ground.

In Group 1, Slovakia kept their play-off hopes alive with an away win against Finland.

Group 1: Finland vs Slovakia 22:27 (9:13)

In Group 1, Slovakia kept their play-off hopes alive through a 27:22 win against Finland in front of 1,000 spectators in Vantaa.

The Slovakians, who were leading 13:9 at half time, are still second in the group. They now have four points, one point behind Russia.

However, Slovakia lost by a sizeable 32:22 margin away against Russia and will probably need a just as clear win at home on 11 January in order to have a realistic chance of proceeding. They are also likely to need wins in their two other remaining matches, at home against Finland on Sunday and away against Luxembourg on 14 January.

With just one point, Finland now have practically no chance of qualification.

Group 5: Turkey vs Netherlands 30:27 (14:16)

Turkey took over first place in Group 5 through their 30:27 win at home against the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon.

With enthusiastic support from the 2,500 spectators in the filled arena and through some fortunate situations towards the end, the Turks made the better finish after an intense match in which the lead changed numerous times.

Turkey were leading by a goal or two for most of the first half, but a Dutch 5-1 defence put a stop to the Turkish goal-flow. With four goals in succession, the Netherlands changed a 13:11 deficit into a 15:13 lead, and at half time, the visitors were still two goals up, 16:14.

For the first minutes of the second half, the Dutchmen held on to their two-goal lead, and they even got three up at 21:18.

Slowly, however, the Turks found ways of playing around the Dutch 5-1 defence, and at 22:21, the home team were in the lead again.

Towards the end, Turkey even got three goals ahead, and as they increased to 29:26 with less than three minutes left, the game was decided.

Turkey's biggest star, right back Ramazan Döne from Besiktas Mogaz HT, was the match's top scorer with 11 goals.

Turkey are now leading the group with five points, one point ahead of the Netherlands. The two teams meet again in Sittard, Netherlands on Sunday.

Belgium vs Greece 33:28 (20:16)

In the other game in Group 5 on Thursday, Belgium allowed themselves to go on hoping for a play-off berth through their 33:28 win at home against Greece.

The Belgians were leading 20:16 after an extremely high-scoring first half, and after the break, the home team increased the difference by a further goal in the Sportoase Philipssite in Leuven.

Belgium are in third position, one point after their neighbours from the Netherlands in second position and two points adrift of Turkey on the first place.

Greece are still at the bottom of the group without a point. Belgium and Greece meet again on Sunday in Thessaloniki.


TEXT: Peter Bruun/jh
 
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