Czechs keep the flame of hope burning
The Czech Republic have ended their series of five straight EHF EURO defeats on Saturday, beating Bosnia and Herzegovina 27:19 after a flying start.
Having the first points on their account after the close 26:28 opening defeat against Spain, the Czechs still can hope for a main round berth, but have a tough clash against Sweden ahead on Monday.
The Bosnians, who showed a much stronger performance compared to their 18:30 loss to Sweden, fought back after minute 15, but still wait for their first ever point at EHF EURO final tournaments – and face defending champions Spain on Monday.
- as the Bosnians only scored one goal in the first 11 minutes, the Czechs easily pulled ahead to 6:1 – and could have led by more with better precision in attack
- as in the opener against Spain, Czech goalkeeper Tomas Mrkva was brilliant, but as his defence was not movable enough and his teammates except Matej Klima missed too many chances in attack, Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to reduce the gap to 9:12 at the break, still their lowest half-time score ever at EHF EURO tournaments
- the Bosnians returned with more focus after the break, increased their efficiency in attack and were boosted by the saves of goalkeeper Benjamin Buric
- from 16:14 for the Czechs in the 40th minute, the match was on the edge until 21:17 in minute 51
- finally, right wing Tomas Cip sealed the deal, scoring for a 24:18 lead five minutes before the end, and goalkeeper Mrkva returned to his high level from the start
Matej Klima shows his talent and ambition
Who will succeed on the Czech legendary left backs Filip Jicha and Ondrej Zdrahala? This was the question, when Zdrahala ended his career to become president of the Czech federation.
In the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina young Matej Klima underlined his ambitions to step into their huge footprints. Mainly in the first half, the 22-year-old shooter from German club Bad Schwartau was on fire, scoring five goals from six attempts. After the break, he netted the important strike for the 21:17. In the end, Klima was top scorer with eight goals – and was awarded Grundfos Player of the Match.
It was great that we won this important match. Two days ago we were unlucky against Spain, but we prepared well and we tried to keep our speed and power high. Besides, we again had a great support from the spectators, they were like an eighth player on the field.
I have to say thanks to our fans, it is amazing how they support us. We could play in New Zealand and they still will come.