Six teams vied for points on the weekend to get closer to qualification for the 2013 Women's World Championship
Poland celebrate second win
Poland are one small step closer to qualify for the 2013 Women's World Championship after having beaten Belarus 29:19 (17:13) in a Qualification Europe match on Sunday (7 October).
The match was even at the start before three unanswered goals gave Poland the 8:6 lead by the 15th minute. Led by a strong performance of Karolina Kudlacz, Poland went into half-time with a comfortable 17:13.
Poland then controlled the match in the second half. Belarus scored just six times and Kim Rasmussen's side cruised to a 29:19 victory. Poland's top scorer Kudlacz scored eight times, while Karyna Yezhykova was Belarus' most dangerous player with six goals.
"Our defence and our attack co-operated well," said Poland coach Kim Rasmussen. "We want to win all matches in our group. I hope that we will have more luck in the draw for the Play-Offs than last year when he had two play Denmark."
Poland lost both their Play-Off matches against Denmark and subsequently did not qualify for the 2011 World Championship.
Earlier on Sunday Lithuania could not make use of the home advantage and lost 27:29 (11:16) to Italy in Panevezys.
It was Poland's second win in Group 3 after they had beaten Italy 32:11 on 4 October. Belarus and Italy sit on second and third rank in Group 3 with one win and one loss respectively. Lithuania is last following two defeats in two matches.
Already on Saturday (6 October) Portugal beat Turkey 38:36 in front of 1,400 spectators. Portugal led 20:17 at half-time and narrowly hold on to that margin over the course of the second half.
It was Portugal's first win in their first match in Group 4, while Turkey suffered their first defeat. They had beaten Azerbaijan, the third team in this group, 35:19 on 3 October.
All matches were part of phase 1 of the Women's World Championship Qualification Europe. This phase will be played in four groups: three with four teams and one with three teams.
The winner of each group will go through to the play-offs, where they will join 12 of the 14 teams already qualified for the World Championship play-offs. The top two teams ranked at the EHF EURO 2012 will join Serbia as hosts and Norway as reigning champions qualifying directly for the event.
Group 1 and Group 2 will be played in a tournament format while Group 3 and Group 4 are played in a home and away format.
A complete overview of all groups and matches can be found on the eurohandball.com here.
The Women's World Championship will take place from 7 to 22 December 2013 in Serbia.
TEXT: Maciej Firlej / ts
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