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11.04.2019, 20:22
Hungary win top duel; first points for Romania
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QUALIFIERS REVIEW 1: Russia were chanceless on home ground, while Finland gave their Bosnian guests a tough fight but remain without a point, as do Lithuania after their away loss to Romania
 

Hungary win top duel; first points for Romania

Round 3 of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers concludes with seven matches on Thursday. The first three were headlined by an extremely strong Hungarian defence in Russia, 10 goals for Bosnian striker Nikola Prce and the first Romanian victory in the phase.

GROUP 5
Finland vs Bosnia-Herzegovina 26:30 (13:15)

Everything remains open in this group. After three rounds, three teams are equal on four points. Following Belarus’ win in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Bosnia-Herzegovina took both points in Finland as expected. 

In the sixth official duel between these sides, it was the sixth victory for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Despite a strong fight, Finland remain on zero points, as they ultimately lacked power and international experience compared to their visitors.

5:4 was the last Finnish advance, while the biggest gap was seven goals, at 14:21. However, Finland never gave up. Eight minutes before the end, the advance had melted to only one goal, 24:25, and Finland were close to turning the tide. 

But with a 4:1 run to 29:25, the visitors decided the close match – won largely thanks to 10 goals from Nikola Prce and seven from Marko Panic, who scored more than 50 per cent of the Bosnian goals.

GROUP 6
Romania vs Lithuania 28:23 (16:13)

Romania thoroughly deserved their first points in the qualifiers. Head coach Eliodor Voica’s team forged ahead from 4:4 to 10:5 and then had the game under control. The biggest gap ahead of the break was six goals, before the Lithuanians reduced the margin for a half-time score of 16:13.

Though the distance remained constantly at three or four goals until minute 50, the visitors could never endanger the Romanians, who were led by eight goals from top scorer Demis Cosmin Grigoras. 

In the last 10 minutes of the game, Lithuania lacked the means for a late comeback and thereby remain on zero points after the first EURO qualification match under the guidance of new coach Mindaugas Andriuska.

GROUP 7
Russia vs Hungary 19:25 (10:15)

An impressive defence and strong period at the end of the first and start of the second half were the keys for Hungary’s well-deserved away win, who are (after Germany) the second team with the maximum of six points after three rounds. 

Though the Russians could count on the comeback of left back Sergej Gorbok after a knee injury in October, head coach Eduard Koksharov’s team were chanceless on home ground.

Hungary took full control after the score of 10:9, pulling ahead to 15:9. Including the crucial next 10 minutes of the second half, when the visitors took an early decision with a 20:11 advance, coach Istvan Csoknyai’s squad had an outstanding 10:2 run. The defence stood like a wall and Russia only scored twice in 19 minutes. The deal – the first defeat after two Russian victories in the opening rounds – was sealed early. 

Hungary can book their EHF EURO 2020 ticket on Sunday on home ground. 


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cg
 
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