REVIEW: Italy beat FYR Macedonia 27:22 in Sunday's Women's World Championship qualifier and now comfortably top Group 3 with the maximum of four points from two matches
Italy make it two wins from two matches in double qualifier against FYR Macedonia
Italy have made a major step towards qualifying for the Women's World Championship 2015 Qualification Play-offs by beating FYR Macedonia 27:22 on Sunday.
With the maximum of four points from two matches in Group 3 Italy are potentially just one win away from qualifying for the next stage, while FYR Macedonia need a small miracle to do so and still wait for their first win in a competitive match since 2012.
"We knew FYR Macedonia would come here to win. Today's match was very tough, but we played very well and we managed to win it in the final minutes. We are very happy," said Italy coach Neven Hrupec.
Italy had won the first leg against FYR Macedonia 23:20 on Thursday and knowing that they had the capability to beat them, they went out and quickly led 2:0 through goals by Irene Fanton and Rafika Ettaqui.
However, FYR Macedonia weren't impressed by the storming start and they kept within punching distance with the score at 11:9 for Italy at half-time.
Italy then had the better start to the second half and led by the dangerous Cristina Gheorghe, who scored ten goals overall, they went away 14:10 and 16:12.
FYR Macedonia had the power to fight back once more, levelling the game at 18:18 with fifteen minutes to go, but Italy came back straight away, scoring three unanswered goals to make it 21:18 in the 51st minute - it was a lead they eventually extended to five goals by the end of the game.
Italy now meet Iceland on 27 and 30 November in a double qualifier which can potentially already prove decisive as only the top ranked team from each qualification group qualifies for the play-offs.
FYR Macedonia face Iceland on 3 and 6 December, but their chances depend on the outcome of the matches the weekend before.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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