20210604 CYP POR 1
EHF EURO

Portugal and Kosovo set up crucial showdown

Joanne Harris

Portugal and Kosovo are set to play for the qualification spot from group A of the Women's EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers phase 1 after both secured their second victory of the tournament in Prishtina on Friday.

Meanwhile Greece and Finland took their first points in groups B and C. Greece secured a decisive 29:18 victory over Bosnia Herzegovina, while the Faroe Islands edged out Finland in a tight encounter in Torshavn.

WOMEN’S EHF EURO 2022 QUALIFIERS – PHASE 1

GROUP A
Cyprus vs Portugal 17:32 (8:19)

  • Portugal scored first and never relinquished the lead, opening up a 10:5 advantage by the 15th minute
  • an eight-minute period without a goal in the first half proved costly for Cyprus, letting Portugal open up a substantial gap
  • Portugal's goalkeepers were also on form, together saving nine out of 26 shots for a save efficiency of 35 per cent compared to 24 per cent for Cyprus
  • 22-year-old left wing Carolina Monteiro was integral to Portugal's success, scoring eight goals from eight attempts

Luxembourg vs Kosovo 27:33 (9:16)

  • a poor start by Luxembourg saw Kosovo stretch out to a 3:0 lead inside five minutes, and the tournament hosts continued to dominate throughout the first half
  • however, Luxembourg fought back hard early in the second half, and a 10:5 run spurred by wings Michelle Jung and Tina Welter took them to within two goals of their opponents after 10 minutes 
  • a well-timed timeout at 19:21 saw Kosovo regain their control, and Luxembourg were unable to respond to a 5:1 run
  • Kosovo's Paschke Marku was the stand-out performer with 10 goals from 16 shots, including four penalties

GROUP B
Greece vs Bosnia Herzegovina 29:18 (15:10)

  • the group B tournament hosts secured a big victory to start their campaign, with a 54 per cent save efficiency from goalkeeper Magdalini Kepesidou largely to thank
  • the first half was even for 25 minutes before a 5:0 run by Greece, including two penalties from centre back Maria Chatziparasidou, took them to a 15:10 lead
  • a string of saves and consistent scoring during the second half helped Greece stay ahead
  • Chatziparasidou and right wing Vasilki Gkatziou both scored six goals for Greece; left back Armina Isic netted five times for Bosnia

GROUP C
Finland vs Faroe Islands 19:21 (10:9)

  • the Faroe Islands scored just twice in the first 10 minutes of the match, but a 3:0 run between the 10th and 13th minutes got them back on terms at 6:5 and from then on it was a close game
  • a penalty by Bara Krossteig Hansen took the Faroese level at 14:14, 46 minutes into the match, with Durita Christophersen Jojic then giving them the lead soon afterwards
  • Finland kept pressing to stay in the game, and with two minutes on the clock had closed back up to 19:20
  • Faroese goalkeeper Annika Fridheim Petersen saved Finland's last shot, and Marianna Geirsdottir Eystberg made sure of the win with seven seconds to play

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