Winning on Wednesday meant winning on the weekend, too: After two round the wheat has already separated from the chuff in the first stage of the qualification for the Men’s World Championship in Spain. All favoured teams have taken four points from their encounters with the nations from pot 3 in the seven qualification groups.
Only the winners of those groups qualify for the play-off matches in June 2012. In Round 3 and 4 in January the top seeded teams of each group will have their first games.
The remaining eleven places for those play-offs will be decided at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.
Round 2: Israel vs. Great Britain 29:20 (13:13)
90 of the in total 120 minutes the British team was close to Israel, but in the end the Olympic hosts are still without any point in the World Champions Qualification. After the narrow 26:29 defeat on home soil, the British team was equal in the first half in their away game and even led 13:10. The match changed totally after the break, as Israel allowed their guests only three goals in 25 minutes thanks to their goalkeeper Eldar Miklos. In the middle of the second half the match was decided, best Israeli scorer was Yotam Tal with six goals, Smoler and Pomeranz scored five times each.
Round 1: Great Britain vs. Israel 26:29 (14:16)
Round 2: Ukraine vs. Turkey 32:20 (16:7)
After their close away victory on Wednesday the Ukraine showed their full strength at home and clashed Turkey. Already at half-time the winner was known, when the guests lacked power after the break the margin grew to twelve goals. Top star Sergiy Onufrienko was top scorer with six goals, Ramazan Döne was the best Turkish player again with six goals, too.
Round 1: Turkey vs. Ukraine 24:26 (11:13)
Round 2: Latvia vs. Belgium 32:28 (18:13)
After their clear opening victory in Belgium, Latvia struggled harder on home ground to take their second victory. Belgium stood strong – but could in the end still not endanger the Baltic team. Pavlovics and tall shooter Kristopans paved the way with seven goals each for the host, Cauwenberghs was the Belgium top scorer again, with six goals.
Round 1: Belgium vs. Latvia 29:36 (12:19)
Round 2: Netherlands vs. Finland 29:26 (11:14)
The Netherlands had a weak first half and desperately needed to improve after the break. But the Dutch team managed to strengthen their defence and avoided a home defeat. Like in the first game Finland was on eye level for most of the time and led at half-time well-deservedly with a three goals margin after their intermediate 12:8 lead. Finland was close to the sensation until the Netherlands equalized at 22:22. In the end goalkeeper Gerrie Ejlers saved the points for his team. Karlsson and Rönnberg (seven goals each) were the Finnish top scorers, Konitz and Schagen hit the back of the net six times for the host.
Round 1: Finland vs. Netherlands 23:26 (9:16)
Round 2: Switzerland vs. Italy 37:29 (19:14)
After nearly stumbling against their neighbours in the first match, the Swiss team showed a more focussed performance at home: By deciding the game very early after the intermediate result of 15:7 the hosts left the Italians chanceless. Andy Schmid scored nine times for the Swiss team, as Maione was the top scorer of the game with ten goals for Italy. After the Swiss victory was clear, Swiss coach Goran Perkovac gave his youngsters playing time. “They fit well, we are ready for our next encounters,” said Perkovac.
Round 1: Italy vs. Switzerland 25:27 (17:14)
Round 2: Bosnia Herzegovina vs. Cyprus 32:26 (13:9)
Even nine goals of Giorgos Papakyprianou did not help the Cyprus team – although they had really improved in contrast to match 1 on Wednesday. After their easy victory on Cyprus, Bosnia had underestimated their opponents on home ground. The guests were below with a low margin most of the time. In the end the six goal difference was a small success for Cyprus – but the Balkan team kept the points. Vukasin Stojanovic again was the top scorer for the Bosnians with seven goals.
Round 1: Cyprus vs. Bosnia Herzegovina 20:38 (8:18)
Round 2: Romania vs. Luxembourg 26:22 (14:8)
Like Bosnia and Latvia, the Romanians had bigger problems with their opponents on home ground than away. Luxembourg played stronger than on Wednesday and could reduce the gap in the final stage, but could not take the victory out of Romanian hands. The hosts did always give everything they had and also decelerated in the last 15 minutes, which opened the gate for a quite good Luxembourg result. With seven goals Dany Scholten was the best player of the guests, as Aurel Florea scored nine times for the host, who had replaced some key players to save their powers.
Round 1: Luxembourg vs. Romania 20:35 (8:17)
Further qualification matches
Round 3: Wednesday/Thursday 04/05 January 2012
Round 4: Saturday/Sunday 07/08 January 2012
Round 5: Wednesday/Thursday 11/12 January 2012
Round 6: Saturday/Sunday 14/15 January 2012
Qualification Phase two – Play-Off Matches
Seven teams from Phase one and the eleven teams from EHF EURO 2012 not qualified for the 2013 Men’s World Championship yet meet in play-off matches. These will be played in a KO-system with first and second leg matches at two weekends. According to a decision of the EHF Executive Committee in March 2003 no double matches in one country shall be allowed.
Leg 1: Saturday/Sunday 09/10 June 2012
Leg 2: Saturday/Sunday 16/17 June 2012
The nine winners of the play-off matches will qualify for the final tournament of the 2013 Men’s World Championship in Spain. The fixtures for Phase 2 – Play-Off Matches will be drawn on 29 January 2012 in Belgrade (SRB).