01/06/2019

Greece edge closer to qualification

REVIEW: An overwhelming 12:3 start helped Greece to power past Finland and take a commanding lead in the group, while Israel recorded a win over Luxembourg

Hellenic Handball Federation

Israel bounced back after a painful defeat against Greece with a thorough win against Luxembourg on Saturday, but qualification remains out of their hands, despite the result.

But Greece only need a draw tomorrow against Luxembourg to advance to phase 2 of the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers, after they earned their second win in a row in the group, 31:14.

WOMEN'S EHF EURO 2020, QUALIFICATION PHASE 1

GROUP A

Luxembourg vs Israel 24:33 (9:17)

After a superb win on Friday against Finland, Luxembourg were eyeing a repeat against Israel. But after scoring the first goal of the game, everything turned to rubble for Luxembourg.

On the back of a 4:0 run, Israel opened up a healthy gap, while their opponents tried to manage the difference, cutting it to two goals, 9:7, after 16 minutes.

But another 6:1 salvo to end the first half saw Israel move into a commanding position, bringing an eight-goal lead, 17:9, into the last 30 minutes.

There were no surprises in the second half, with Israel keeping their opponents at bay, despite Luxembourg trying their utmost to come back.

Their inexperience halted the comeback attempt, with Israel’s defence stopping Luxembourg in their tracks, as Israel took their first win of the tournament, 33:24.

Israel tied Luxembourg in the rankings with two points, and they hope to win tomorrow against Finland in order to keep their chances of progression alive.

Shira Vakrat was Israel’s best scorer, with ten goals.

Greece vs Finland 31:14 (17:6)

Greece had the chance to improve their tally after the impressive win against Israel and they picked up exactly where they left off, with a 4:0 run to start the first half.

Another 5:1 run prompted Greece to take a 12:3 lead that proved to be unassailable, as Finland paid the price once again for a slow start.

A 17:6 first half score-line was enough for Greece to relax and prepare for the game against Luxembourg, which will take place tomorrow, as the hosts only need a draw to secure qualification.

Finland’s woes continued after the break, as the Nordic side only scored twice in the first ten minutes of the second half, with the hosts extending their lead to 22:9.

Ultimately, Greece took a 31:14 win, which has propelled them to first place in the group.

written by Adrian Costeiu / jw