Cypriot away victory shatters the hosts' hopes of advancing to the play-offs of the EHF EURO 2016 qualification
Cyprus move past Luxembourg
Wednesday’s (3 April) only match in the qualification for the EHF EURO 2016 took place in Luxembourg where the hosts lost 16:17 in a close Group A match against Cyprus.
Group A: Luxemburg vs. Cyprus 16:17 (7:9)
The inspiring campaign of Luxembourg club Handball Esch, that recently reached the semi-finals of the EHF Challenge Cup, a stage that no club from the same country reached before, proved to be no good karma for the Luxembourg national team in the first qualification stage for the EHF EURO 2016.
Cyprus clinched the a narrow 17:16 victory as the hosts were unable to take revenge for the 21:27 defeat against the same nation one year ago in the first qualification phase for the EHF EURO 2014.
Cyprus never gave up the lead in a match which was arguably short of goals. After 15 minutes the score stood only at 2:4, while at the break both teams had scored an overall tally of just 16 goals.
Without their talent Yannick Bardina, who announced that he will not be play for the national team anymore, Luxembourg tried hard in the second half to turn the match around, but kept trailing and finally lost by one goal.
With zero points in their account the high hopes of national team coach Adrian Stot to advance to the qualification play-offs have been shattered, while Cyprus have two points which see them ranked behind unbeaten Finland that have four points after two matches.
Only the three group winners from this phase will progress to a knock-out phase where they will meet the three lowest ranked fourth placed teams from EHF EURO 2014 Qualification Phase 2 in two play-off matches, home and away, on 2/3 April 2014 and 5/6 April 2014.
The winners of these play-off matches will join the already qualified remaining participants for the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Phase 2.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
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