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22.07.2018, 09:40
Belarus and Switzerland turning it on in Skopje
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DAY 1 & 2 REVIEW: Men’s 20 EHF Championship in FYR Macedonia starting to heat up already after two matchdays.
 

Belarus and Switzerland turning it on in Skopje

After two preliminary round matchdays at the 6,200-capacity Boris Trajkovski Arena, it is becoming clearer who are the teams to beat in Skopje as the 11 teams competing in the Men’s 20 EHF Championship have now all shown what they have to offer in the Macedonian capital.

With a rest day today (22 July) teams are back in action for the remainder of the preliminary round on 23, 24 and 26 July before the semi-finals (28 July), and then finals day one week today (29 July).

All games from Skopje will be streamed live on ehfTV.com.

Men’s 20 EHF Championship: FYR Macedonia
Preliminary Round – Matchday 1 & 2
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje

Group A
With six teams in the group each nation has played twice already and after two matchdays Belarus lead the table with two wins from two. They sit at the top with four points thanks to a 10-goal victory over Greece (34:24) and seven-goal defeat of Estonia (29:22).

Aside from the Belarus strength, the rest of the group is wide open and looks set to be a real fight on each of the three remaining matchdays. Lithuania are undefeated in two matches, sitting in second place with three points thanks to a come-from-behind victory against Faroe Islands 26:24 (12:13) and a 21:21 (9:9) draw with Finland, where Lithuanian goalkeeper Matas Pranckevicius showed his worth, winning the best player award for his defensive performance.

Other notable mentions in the group include the Faroe Islands 27:23 win over Greece which saw the top scorer on each team receive red cards after both players picked up three, two-minute suspensions.

Group B
As group B has five teams, unlike the six in group A, not all teams have played twice across the two matchdays of the Men’s 20 Championship in FYR Macedonia.

But for the two teams who have played twice, the story is very different. Switzerland have a maximum of four points from four after defeating Ukraine 28:25 in a hard-fought victory, combined with a smooth passage past Great Britain yesterday where the Swiss restricted the Brits to just three first-half goals, running out eventual 33:11 winners.

Host nation FYR Macedonia had ensured they started the competition in the best possible way, beating GB in their opening game 32:15 on Friday.  The Macedonians had a day off yesterday which meant that Ukraine’s win against Italy (30:25) put them equal on two points with the home nation in the table.

Striking it rich
Estonian right back Sander Sarapuu leads the tournament top-scoring list with 21 goals in just two matches having sunk home 11 in their 32:21 defeat of Finland and 10 in their 29:22 loss against Belarus.

Men’s 20 EHF Championship – FYR Macedonia: Results – Matchday 1 & 2

Friday 20 July

Group A
Belarus vs Greece 34:24 (14:10)
Faroe Islands vs Lithuania 24:26 (13:12)
Finland vs Estonia 21:32 (8:13)

Group B
Switzerland vs Ukraine 28:25 (14:10)
FYR Macedonia vs Great Britain 32:15 (15:5)

Saturday 21 July

Group A
Greece vs Faroe Islands 23:27 (10:13)
Estonia vs Belarus 22:29 (6:17)
Lithuania vs Finland 21:21 (9:9)

Group B
Ukraine vs Italy 30:25 (13:11)
Great Britain vs Switzerland 11:33 (3:18)

Follow the Men’s 20 EHF Championship in FYR Macedonia
Playing Schedule: http://eurohandball.com/ech/01-01/20/men/2018/round/1/Championship+-+MKD
Official website: https://m20championship2018.mk/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/m20EHFChampionship2018/
ehfTV: https://www.ehftv.com/int/livestream-schedule/2018/july

Photos: Filip Viranovski


TEXT: EHF
 
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