Icelandic defence too strong for Israel
Less than 24 hours after beating Lithuania 34:28, Israel were chanceless in their second of four EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers this week. Iceland were much too strong for the team of head coach Oleg Butenko, the 30:20 victory had never been endangered. The “Vikings” were stronger in all departments, while the hosts had problems with the visitors' defence. All teams of this group now have four matches played and two still ahead.
Israel vs Iceland 20:30 (9:17)
- After their third win on the road to Hungary and Slovakia, Iceland top the table, equal with Portugal by six points after each three victories and one defeat in the direct duels; Israel remain on two points, equal with Lithuania, and need to take points from the remaining matches to keep the hopes alive for their first EHF EURO participation since 20 years.
- It was the fourth straight Icelandic victory against Israel since 1992 after two defeats and a draw before.
- The visitors had a brilliant start, pulling ahead to 10:3 after only 14 minutes - and more or less kept this distance until the break. The first double-digit lead was 25:15 in minute 46.
- Like in his club SC Magdeburg, for which he is top scorer in the European League prior to the EHF finals, Omar Ingi Magnusson is on fire for Iceland, netting five goals on Tuesday night like Elvar Johnsson and Viggo Kristjansson. No Israel player scored more than three goals.
- on another note, goalkeeper Viktor Hallgrimsson was a key for success with 12 saves (44 per cent of all shots).
Final decision possible on Thursday
Before the last two rounds of qualifiers, Portugal and Iceland are on six points now. If both win their away matches at Lithuania (Iceland) and Israel (Portugal) on Thursday, the group is decided, as then both are confirmed as the two top-ranked teams of this group. If both finish equal in points, Iceland will be on top thanks to the better aggregate goal difference (56:49) in the direct encounters.