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Handball: Austria continues to a trembling victory in the European Championship qualifiers

Handball: Austria continues to a trembling victory in the European Championship qualifiers

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Austria’s men’s handball team also won the second match of qualifying for the European Championship 2024. Three days after their home victory over Romania, Mikola Bilic & Co. defeated the Faroe Islands 30:28 (14:14) and spent the winter in Group D as the leader of the standings. The next opponent is Ukraine on March 8.

Against strangers in Group 4, Mikola Bilyk and his comrades had to fight long and hard before the two points could be secured. In the parallel match, Romania beat Ukraine 34:26. After two days of matches, the Austrians occupy the two places with a maximum of four points, ahead of Romania and Ukraine (2 each) and the Faroe Islands (0) in the last part.

The men of the Austrian Handball Federation (ÖHB) struggled in Tórshavn from the start. After a good ten minutes, the Faroe Islands were leading 6:3 before coach Alice Bagović’s side ran up to a three-goal lead (11:8). However, the hosts did not give up, tied at 11:11 and kept the match balanced ever since. At 14:14 we went on a break.

Biting nails before and after the break

In the second half, neither team could part for a long time. And the Austrians received several penalty kicks in his own net and were repeatedly denied by brilliant goalkeeper Pauli Jacobsen, who saved eleven goals. After 42 minutes, the Austrian guests came back again with two goals (21:19), and the Faroe Islands tied them again.

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After only 50 minutes, Bagović’s team managed to make a two-goal lead that was saved by time. And in the end, the best Austrian shooters were Lukas Hötesek with eight goals and Robert Weber with seven. Bilek scored four goals.

‘It was a tough fight’

“It was a tough fight that we were prepared for. We knew it was going to be uncomfortable,” Hotesek said. Team boss Bagović was proud of his team: “They showed character and heart, were ready to fight and showed they wanted to go to the Euro. Our target was four points and we got it. Now everyone can go home feeling good.”

At the beginning of January 2023, the national team will meet for the next tournament. In Switzerland, the Yellow Cup will take place from January 6-8, meeting the host country as well as Japan and Cape Verde.

European Handball Championship Qualifiers

table, group 4:
1. Austria 2 2 66:60 4
2. Romania 2 1 1 66:62 2
3. Ukraine 2 1 1 55:59 2
4. Faroe Islands 2 2 53:59
game schedule
10/12/22 Ukraine Faroe Islands 29:25
10/13/22 Austria Romania 36:32
16.10.22 Romania Ukraine 34:26
Faroe Islands Austria 28:30
3/8/23 Ukraine Austria -:-
Faroe Islands Romania -:-
11/03/23 Austria Ukraine -:-
Romania Faroe Islands -:-
04/26/23 Romania Austria -:-
Faroe Islands Ukraine -:-
04/30/23 Ukraine Romania -:-
Austria Faroe Islands -:-