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29.07.2018, 00:00
Belarus to take on hosts FYR Macedonia in final after semi-final wins
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SEMI-FINAL REVIEW: Belarus defeat Switzerland and hosts see off Switzerland in penalty shoot-out win to set up a final clash in Skopje at the Men's 20 EHF Championship.
 

Belarus take on hosts FYR Macedonia in final

The penultimate day of the Men’s 20 EHF Championship in Skopje, FYR Macedonia, finished earlier today as the hosts went through to the final in dramatic fashion, beating the Faroe Islands on penalties. They will face Belarus in the final tomorrow evening who beat Switzerland in the earlier match.

Men’s 20 EHF Championship: FYR Macedonia
Matchday 6: Semi-Finals, 5-11 Placement Round
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje

Semi-Finals
Host nation FYR Macedonia took the victory against the Faroe Islands 27:25 thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot out as Mice Shilegov scored nine for the host nation in total while in the other semi-final Belarus beat Switzerland 33:27 to book their passage into the final.

Belarus vs Switzerland 33:27 (17:12)
The Swiss found it hard against the strong Belarus team, going four goals behind (7:3) with just 15 minutes gone and, as they played catch-up, Belarus picked their moments to score to keep their lead throughout the rest of the game with Dimitri Khalkov's goals for Belarus earning him a best player of the match award.

“It wasn’t easy as result might suggest," said Belarus coach Aleh Shareika to the tournament website after the win. "We surprised them from the start, but when we reached a comfortable lead it was much easier for us."

For Switzerland coach Marcel Tobler, it was clear who the deserved winner was. "They were better today and deserved to win," he said. "We didn’t play our system from the beginning and just 'threw' the ball [with no purpose], but when we started playing it was already too late”.

Faroe Islands vs FYR Macedonia 25:27 - penalty shootout (23:23) (12:13)
The Faroe Islands came from being five goals behind against the hosts as the Macedonians certainly put on a dramatic show for the near-1,000 spectators inside the Boris Trajkovski Arena in capital city Skopje.

Playing their aggressive 7v6 attack, the Macedonians benefitted from an unguarded net at times, scoring into the open goal with just their third attack of the match and coach Mark Lausen-Marcher decided enough was enough with the tactic after his side had conceded three times within 10 minutes, bringing his goalkeeper back into the game to even things up (5:5).

Again, the Faroese goalkeeper Hordur Trygvasson was the best player of the match as his crucial saves kept his side in the game with five minutes of the half remaining (11:11), although the Macedonians edged ahead by one at the break (13:12).

Following the half-time pause the teams kept in touch with each other through the second period and it was no surprise when the game ended all-square (23:23) at the final buzzer. So it went direct to a penalty shootout and with all the home team players scoring it fell to the unlucky Leivur Mortensen to miss and send the Macedonian players into fits of ecstasy as they booked their final ticket.

"I am proud of my boys," said Faroe Islands coach Lausen-Marcher after the match. "We came back from five goals behind and controlled the rhythm of the match, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose."

Macedonian coach Danilo Brestovac admitted his side had luck on his side. “I am happy with the final result, but not satisfied much with the way we played," he said. "We had a five-goal advantage and let them come back and at the end we were lucky - but luck is something you have to deserve."

9-11 Placement Matches
In the 9-11 placement matches, Finland beat Great Britain 36:22, Ukraine beat Estonia on a penalty shootout 4:2 to win 31:29 and the same score saw Italy lose to Lithuania in the 5-8 cross matches.

Striking it rich
Lithuanian Karolis Antanavicius now tops the scoring charts with 45 goals, while Nicolo D’Antino for Italy is the next highest striker, behind, on 38.

Next steps
Tomorrow (Sunday 29 July) sees FYR Macedonia vs Belarus in the final, preceded by Faroe Islands vs Switzerland in the bronze medal match. Ukraine play Lithuania for 5/6 place, Estonia take on Italy for 7/8 place and 9/10 placement match features Finland vs Greece.

Men’s 20 EHF Championship – FYR Macedonia: Results – Matchday 6

Saturday 28 July

Semi-Finals
Faroe Islands vs FYR Macedonia 25:27 - penalty shootout (23:23) (12:13)
Belarus vs Switzerland 33:27 (17:12)

Cross Matches 5-8
Estonia vs Ukraine 29:31 (13:13)
Lithuania vs Italy 31:29 (15:16)

Cross Matches 9-11
Finland vs Great Britain 36:22 (16:11)

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

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


TEXT: EHF
 
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