As the groups A and C had a match free day on Saturday groups B and D were playing – and Japan was the big surprise by beating Austria. Poland had enormous problems to beat Argentina and host Sweden overran Slovakia like Iceland did against Brazil.
Group B: Japan – Austria 33:30 (18:11)
Big Asian surprise: After losing to Norway the day before Japan clashed Austria and took their first WCh points in Sweden. The Japanese players showed another high speed handball – and Austria couldn’t find the means to stop them. Even four consecutive Austrian goals from 5:9 to 9:9 did not bring self assurance to the Europeans – in contrast: Japan took every chance to keep the lead 15:9. The Austrians did not find their pace and the distance increased to 18:11 at the break. In the second half the Austrians tried hard to turn the game and reduced to 25:28 – but they were unable to reach their second victory in the end. Daisuke Miyazaki (Japan) and Viktor Szilagyi (Austria) each scored eight times. Both teams now have two points on their account, so do Hungary and Norway.
Brazil – Iceland 26:34 (12:19)
Iceland celebrated their second well-deserved victory in this WCh. The Northern European team was clearly dominant in the first half and arrived in the dressing room with a seven-goal distance. And nothing changed after the break, as the experienced Icelandic’s played on the same level as before. Left wing Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson was the outstanding player of this game with in total eleven goals. Iceland is the only spotless team in this group after two matches – and close to the qualification for the Main Round. Brazil remain with zero points- and the chance to reach the Main Round is small.
In third match of group B, Hungary won over Norway 26:23.
1. Iceland 2-4
2. Austria 2-2
3. Norway 2-2
4. Japan 2-2
5. Hungary 2-2
6. Brasil 2-0
Group D: Slovakia – Sweden 22:38 (14:15)
Sweden came over Slovakia like a Nordic blizzard in the second half and is on top of group D with the optimum of four points, Slovakia lost their second match and have to win three straight times now to qualify for the Main Round. After both teams neutralized themselves before the break, Sweden became really ecstatic, supported by their spectators in Gothenburg and caused a little disaster for the Slovaks. Every Slovakian mistake and misplaced pass was punished by Swedish counter attacks, aside goalkeeper Johan Sjöstrand played the match of his life by saving 57% of all shots. On the other hand, Slovak goalkeeper Richard Stochl saved his team with 17 saved from an even bigger blame. The first 30 minutes were absolutely equal, both teams played strong at eye level. But then the Swedish express increased the speed. By a counter attack series of 11:3 goals the match was decided in minute 44, when the host led with ten goals (27:17) for the first time. As the Slovaks failed against Sjöstrand or the Swedish defense, the powerful and fast Swedish match play brought Slovakia to resignation. By another six straight goals Sweden extended the lead to 15 goals, in the end to 16. Top scorers were Niclas Ekberg with eight goals for Sweden and Peter Kuckucka with four goals for Slovakia.
Argentina – Poland 23:24 (6:11)
By having Poland close to a defeat Argentina showed that the draw against Korea was not a singular event. Nobody would had given a coin on the Gauchos at the break, but in the second half they showed fighting spirit and were close to their second unexpected point against a top team. Poland started strong in defense and goalkeeping, so the Argentines only scored six goals in the first half. But then they woke up and grabbed their chance with both hands. Poland was surprised of the resistance and the fighting spirit of the South Americans and could not stop them from scoring. Eight minutes before the end the distance was still four goals, before the great time of Federico Vieyra started: Thanks to Hgis three of six goals in the last minutes Argentina reduced to 23:24 – but as Poland was in lead 24:21 70 seconds before the end, the winner was clear. But Argentina won the second half with a four goals difference – nobody could expect this before. Top scorers were Simonet and Vieyra (each six for Argentina) and Tluczynsky with five for the Polish team, which is equal with Sweden (four points) on top of the ranking.
In third match of group D, Korea beated Chile 38:22.
1. Sweden 2-4
2. Poland 2-4
3. Korea 2-3
4. Argentina 2-1
5. Slovakia 2-0
6. Chile 2-0