SUNDAY REVIEW 1: Sweden beat Romania 27:21 and Belarus win 30:24 against Montenegro to book their tickets to the World Championship next January
With two clear wins Sweden and Belarus qualify for Qatar 2015
Sweden and Belarus had both been involved in close matches in their respective first legs away against Romania and Montenegro last week.
However, when it came to the return matches on Sunday neither of them left any doubt about which team will eventually qualify, when they enjoyed the home advantage.
Sweden had no troubles whatsoever defending their one goal lead from the first match against Romania.
The Swedes dominated the return match from start to end and finished by winning 27:21.
Belarus, who were chasing a one-goal deficit from their visit to Montenegro, followed more or less the same recipe as the Swedes.
Belarus took a big lead right at the start and never let their opponents get into the game which Belarus won 30:24.
Sweden vs Romania 27:21 (15:7) / First leg 25:24 – aggregate score: 52:45
After failing to qualify for the World Championship 2013 in Spain, Sweden secured a comeback in Qatar in January next year, as they added a 27:21 win against Romania in the Scandinavium in Gothenburg to their 25:24 victory on away ground last weekend.
Left wing Fredrik Petersen scored the first three goals for Sweden who had the far better start and were ahead quickly 5:1, at which point Romania’s national coach Christian Gaudin called his first team timeout.
However, this did not help his team, as Sweden continued to increase their lead to 8:2 and 13:4. After the score stood at 15:7 at half-time, Sweden even got up by ten goals at 18:8, before they lost a bit of their focus.
This allowed Romanian to get back into the game, and at that point it was hearable that there were Romanian fans among the 5,500 spectators in the arena.
However, the visitors never got any closer than being four goals behind at 23:19, and they never created any real doubts about the final outcome.
Both teams had a right wing as their top scorer: For Sweden Niclas Ekberg scored eight goals, while Valentin Ghionea scored seven times for Romania.
Belarus vs Montenegro 30:24 (16:9) / First leg 27:28 – aggregate score: 57:52
A one-goal lead from a home game is very rarely enough to rely on when playing away in the second leg.
On Sunday, Montenegro had to realise this fact like so many other teams have had to during the history of handball.
Belarus took the initiative from the start of the match in the Minsk-Arena.
Within virtually no time the hosts were leading 7:1, and that lead was soon extended to seven goals which was also the difference at half-time (16:9).
In the second half Belarus even got ahead by 11 goals at 22:11, and after that it did not mean a lot to the final result that Montenegro got a bit more into the game towards the end.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
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