On the third day of the European Championship, Hungary who suffered a big defeat against Spain in Round 1. had to face Iceland who previously beat Norway surprisingly easily. The two teams last met in the quarter-final of the Olympics in 2012. Both teams lacked their No. 1 right-backs, László Nagy and Alexander Petersson were out of squad due to injury.
Hungary started the match well, their fast players were effective and Ancsin scored 3 big goals so after 10 minutes they were leading by 4 goals (8-4). Iceland’s coach substituted his goalkeeper and Edvardsson proved to be effective against Hungary’s attack runs. Iceland came back into the match but fortunately for Hungary Mikler produced some great saves and a 2-goal advantage remained until the 20th minute (10-8). By the end of the first half Iceland came even closer thanks to goals by Palmarsson, Sigurdsson and very effective pivot play. The first half was good propaganda for handball with many goals and creative play (16-15).
Hungary seemed to be getting tired in the second half thus allowing Iceland to change the course of the match and gain a 2-goal lead in only 8 minutes (17-19). Coach Mocsai also changed his goalkeeper and thanks to Tatai’s saves and some fast players in attack Hungary managed to equalize by the 45th minute (21-21). Palmarsson and Iceland’s pivot play were still effective, but goals by Ancsin and Zubai meant that Hungary were in front again in the 50th minute. (24-23). Goals came from both sides thereafter and the match was a draw only five minutes before the end (26-26). Iváncsik and Palmarsson hit the woodwork 2 minutes later, still a draw. In the 58th minute Iceland were one man up and Karason scored. Hungary called the goalkeeper down and only 10 seconds before the end Lékai scored from the counterattack. Iceland’s final shooting attempt was blocked so the score remained even after a thrilling match (27-27).
Best scorers: Ancsin 7, Császár 5/Palmarsson 8, G. V. Sigurdsson 5
More to come…
Text: Gábor Várkonyi, Péter Butty