20210429 ITA BLR 8

Italy miss last penalty, Belarus through

EHF / Björn Pazen

For the fifth time in a row and for the seventh time in total, Belarus will be part of a Men’s EHF EURO final tournament. But Iouri Chevtsov's team were extremely lucky on Thursday night to win their EHF EURO 2022 qualifier 32:31 in Italy.

The duo of Viachaslau Bokhan (eight goals) and Mikita Vailupau (six) were the key to success, while the Italians were close to their second surprise after beating Latvia in January.

Italy vs Belarus 31:32 (16:16)

  • it was the first ever victory for Belarus on Italian ground in an official match after two defeats in 2001 and 2004 and a draw in 2005
  • in the first half, Belarus were ahead only twice by more than one goal
  • after the break, Italy managed to level the match four times, before Belarus pulled ahead from 24:24 to 30:26
  • Italy remain on two points, while Belarus top the ranking jointly with Norway with eight points from five matches
  • Belarus will host Latvia on Sunday, while Italy face Norway on Latvian ground due to the Norwegian Covid-19 travel restrictions

Thrilling endgame with unhappy Italian conclusion

When Aleh Astrashapkin netted for a 32:28 lead with only five minutes left, the deal seemed to be sealed for Belarus - but Italy struck back hard.

Goals from Martin Sonnerer and Marco Mengon brought them back to 31:32, and Italy even had the last chance of the match. But unluckily for the hosts, Gianluca Dapiran failed with a penalty shot.

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