Belgium celebrate biggest success in their handball history

Björn Pazen / ts

Belgium celebrate biggest success in their handball history

It was back in 2008/09, in the qualification for the Men’s EHF EURO 2010 in Austria, when Belgium had been part of Europe’s top teams the last time. Back then no pre-qualification was needed to be among the teams fighting for a spot at the final tournament.

Since Saturday night Blegium are back among the top. The 37:28 win at Turkey in the first leg of the play-offs on Wednesday had already paved the way to the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification and on Saturday te squad sealed the deal, beating Turkey once more, this time 29:22 (15:10). 

Belgium thus have become the first side to make its way from the first qualification phase and past the play-offs.

Romania have the chance to follow suit on Sunday when they meet Israel. Already earlier on Saturday Luxemburg had missed that chance when they lost against Finland on aggregate score.

For 13 minutes the match between Belgium and Turkey in Liège was equal, but with the first leg’s result in mind Turkey had almost no chance to turn the tide in their favour.

When Ramazan Döne netted for 6:5, his side might have had the chance to forge ahead, but Belgium were too to go down that easily. 

Thanks to 6:2 series, which included three goals of the once again outstanding Damian Kedziora, Belgium sealed the deal easily when the score was 12:6. On aggregate Turkey were trailing by 15 goals at this stage, a mission impossible for the team of coach Adnan Öztürk.

The hosts nearly kept the same gap up until the break (15:10). Nine of those 15 goals were scored by the Kedziora brothers, Damian (5) and Bartosz (4).

Belgium remained dominant after the break, leading all the way to the end by five to eight goals, not putting the ticket to the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification in danger at all.

The hosts even started an overall rotation that gave all players some court time and granted some rest to the outstanding Kedziora brothers.

Best overall scorer was Turkish line player Tolga Özbahar with seven goals.

Belgium will be seeded in Pot 4 at the qualification draw on 14 April.

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