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24.10.2018, 22:42
Comfortable victories for Germany, Hungary and Russia
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QUALIFICATION REVIEW 2: Germany, Hungary and Russia show their power with commanding wins of at least eight goals in their opening EHF EURO 2020 Qualification Phase 2 encounters
 

Comfortable victories for Germany, Hungary and Russia

It was a case of comfortable wins to start the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 Qualification Phase for Germany, Hungary and Russia, who all finished their Round 1 clashes with a scoreline of at least eight goals in their favour.

EHF EURO 2016 champions Germany defeated Israel in Group 1, while Hungary beat Slovakia and Russia took a win over Italy in Group 7.

GROUP 1

Germany vs Israel 34:19 (19:9)

They may have missed medals at the two most recent major international championships, the 2017 IHF Men’s World Championship and the Men’s EHF EURO 2018, but Germany are a squad largely unchanged from the one that won EHF EURO 2016 and the 2016 Olympic Games bronze medal – and they are therefore almost always a favourite when they take the court.

That was certainly the case against Israel, who have made it to one EURO before, in 2002, and have only ever lost to Germany. By half-time, Germany had already built a 10-goal advantage, while Israel had yet to reach double digits themselves.

The visitors managed to keep the second half closer but there was never any threat to Germany’s hold on the match as the EHF EURO 2016 champions cruised from their considerable half-time lead to the final buzzer where their first qualification phase points waited.

GROUP 7

Hungary vs Slovakia 30:22 (16:9)

It was far from a one-sided match but, in the end, Hungary added another win to their record against Slovakia, taking the balance to six victories in total.

Their late change in coach from Ljubomir Vranjes to István Csoknyai did little to disturb the hosts of the Round 1 clash, as Hungary started to pull in front after the first quarter and never looked back.

By half-time, the hosts led by seven goals and were clearly well in command. Their better attacking and shooting efficiencies were the key difference, as at the other end of the court, even Hungary’s well-oiled defence could not stop Slovakia from scoring a respectable number of goals.

While Slovakia have only made it to three EHF EUROs, Hungary have contested every edition since 2004 and their experience showed as they finished with a confident win on Wednesday night.

Russia vs Italy 34:20 (18:7)


Russia are on a mission to improve their results after some disappointing recent memories, including missing their first-ever final EHF EURO tournament earlier this year.

On Wednesday night, they extended their perfect winning record against Italy (now five victories in five encounters), starting their qualification campaign with a comfortable match where they were always in command.Italy were the clear underdogs and their Russian hosts immediately confirmed their status as favourites, pulling ahead to an 11:5 advantage by the 22nd minute. When Russia took an 11-goal lead into the break there was little doubt they would celebrate the two points from the victory.

To their credit, it was Italy’s second-highest number of goals scored against Russia – the only time they previously passed the 20-goal mark against them was in a EURO Qualification match back in 2009, at home in Trieste.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan/amc
 
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