20211103 BEL GRE 3
World Championship

Turkey and Greece take close victories

Joanne Harris

The first round of European qualification for the Men's World Championship 2023 featured two close matches, giving Turkey and Greece the early advantage in the battle to secure a place in the second phase of qualification.

Turkey just had the edge over Kosovo throughout their match, while Belgium mounted a second-half comeback to beat Greece.

Turkey vs Kosovo 25:23 (15:14)

  • Kosovo led for less than a minute of the match, after right back Drenit Tahirukaj scored after just two seconds. Turkish left back Yakup Yasar Simsar struck back 55 seconds later, setting up a close contest
  • Turkey led by four goals for much of the first half, but a 4:1 run got Kosovo back on terms
  • the second half proved similar, with Kosovo repeatedly responding when Turkey stretched ahead, but despite scoring the last two goals of the game, it was not enough for the visitors
  • Turkey's 22-year-old right wing Görkem Biçer was the outstanding player of the night, netting seven shots from eight attempts; Kosovan centre back Egzon Gjuka scored six from six

Belgium vs Greece 27:29 (12:14)

  • Belgium had a strong start and led for 15 minutes, before Panteleimon Kostakidis gave Greece their first lead at 5:6
  • after trailing by two goals at the break, Belgium took control at the start of the second half. A 6:3 run gave them the lead at 18:17 after less than 10 minutes
  • Greece's top scorer, experienced right wing Dimitrios Tziras, was key to the visitors' quick response, which put them back in control with less than a quarter of the match remaining
  • Belgium kept fighting, pulling back from four goals down to just one with two and a half minutes left, but Greece had done enough
  • Tziras finished the night with nine goals from 11 shots, while Yannick Glorieux scored seven times for Belgium

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