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27.10.2018, 18:56
First points for Belarus; Denmark win away match at home
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QUALIFICATION REVIEW 1: The Finnish and Faroe underdogs fight bravely in the two first matches of EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers round 2, but fall well short of causing sensations
 

First points for Belarus; Denmark win away match at home

Denmark and Belarus are the first winners of the second round of qualifiers for the Men’s EHF EURO 2020. Both teams played their role of favourites against Finland and Faroe Islands in a more or less dominant way when round 2 got underway on Saturday afternoon. For Denmark, it was their first ever away match on home ground.

GROUP 5
Finland vs Belarus 20:27 (8:15)

After their sensational 29:30 home defeat against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the rejuvenated Belarusian side are back on track. In the first encounter against Finland after 25 years, they kept their clean record and took the third overall victory. The seven-goal distance reflects the run-down of the match.

The first crucial point was the four unanswered Belarusian goals, from 10:7 to 14:7, when the victors were all but confirmed. However, like in the match in Czech Republic on Wednesday, 27:31, Finland did not give up. In minute 40, the hosts reduced the margin to four goals, 14:18, but a timeout from head coach Iouri Chevtsov was the wake-up call for Belarus.

The biggest gap was nine goals, at 17:26. The top scorers were Aliaksei Shynkel, with seven strikes for the victors, and Teemu Tamminnen, who tallied five goals for Finland to stay on top of the overall scorer list with a total of 15.

GROUP 8
Faroe Islands vs Denmark 17:35 (8:17)

It was bit like boys against men, but it was definitely a life-lasting experience for the Faroe players – and not only because thousands of fans made it feel like a home match even though they played in the Danish city of Skjern. The Faroe fans celebrated every goal as if their team just became world champions. Denmark were aware and focused, especially after the Faroe side had sensationally drawn in Montenegro in round 1.

In the first 15 minutes, the ‘hosts’ were on an equal level, but after 4:6, Denmark coach Nikolaj Jacobsen had seen enough and his team pulled ahead to 15:7 within 12 minutes of a timeout. Right after the break, the distance was double-figured for the first time at 18:8, but still the Faroe team fought like lions in their first ever duel with Denmark – though they were obviously running out of power against the strong, movable defence of the Olympic champions.

Though even goalkeeper Kevin Möller scored and Mikkel Hansen scored nine from nine, Denmark missed their biggest ever EURO Qualifiers victory – a 41:11 result against Moldova in 1993. Denmark now have the optimum four points in their account.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cg
 
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