20220813 YAC M18 EHF Championship Israel8
Younger Age Category

Czech Republic beat hosts to claim title in Tel Aviv

Jamie Whittington

The Czech Republic and Israel both had 100 per cent records at the M18 EHF Championship 1 2022 before Saturday's final in Tel Aviv. In a tense encounter in the showpiece game, a 10-goal performance from Jonas Josef helped the Czech Republic claim the title with a 25:24 victory over Israel.

  • in the first semi-final on Friday, Israel extended their winning streak at the championship to four games with a 34:30 victory against Greece. Israel's Asaf Sharon (12 goals) and Greece's Tzanos Batis (11 goals) had hugely productive games in attack in a high-scoring contest
  • after 15 minutes of a one-sided second semi-final, the Czech Republic established a seven-goal lead against Lithuania, 10:3. Despite top scorer Tomas Draksas scoring nine goals for Lithuania, the Czech Republic cruised to a 37:26 triumph — as 13 players registered on the scoresheet for the victors 
  • Lithuania powered to a six-goal lead (8:2) after seven minutes in the bronze medal match, but Greece responded immediately with a 5:0 run and had a 16:15 advantage at half-time. After the lead changed multiple times in the second half, Sokratis Kalyvas' buzzer-beater gave Greece a 34:33 win  
  • Israel built a three-goal advantage (9:6) after 17 minutes in the final and remained ahead at the break. However, the Czech Republic took control after a 3:0 run midway through the second half, and Jakub Strýcek's goal in the 54th minute proved decisive as they held on to win 25:24
  • the Netherlands finished fifth after beating Georgia 30:27 in the 5-6 placement match. Jur Eussen scored seven goals for the Netherlands, who opened a 10:4 gap in the 14th minute, while Sandro Darsania netted eight times for Georgia  

Czech Republic secure title in tense finish

In Friday's semi-finals at the M18 EHF Championship 1 2022 in Tel Aviv, Israel and the Czech Republic scored more than 30 goals as they overcame Lithuania and Greece, respectively. However, while the Czech Republic had scored 109 goals in their first three games, they had to rely on their defence in the closing stages of the final against Israel.

When Jonas Josef scored his 10th goal to give the Czech Republic a 23:19 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining, they were seemingly heading for a comfortable victory. But with a goalless period of almost seven minutes, the Czech Republic had to prevent Israel from scoring in the last two minutes to claim the title.

All-star Team
Goalkeeper: Tal Peled (Israel)
Left wing: Ben-Or Gonen (Israel)
Left back: Jonas Josef (Czech Republic)
Centre back: Tomas Draksas (Lithuania)
Right back: Daniel Erebai (Czech Republic)
Right wing: Asaf Sharon (Israel)
Line player: Konstantinos Koutoulogenis (Greece)

Best defender: Daniel Bláha (Czech Republic)
MVP: Dimitrios Panagiotou (Greece)
Top scorer: Tomas Draksas (Lithuania, 48 goals)

Final ranking
1st Czech Republic
2nd Israel
3rd Greece
4th Lithuania
5th Netherlands
6th Georgia
7th Bulgaria

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