2021 02 05 NOR ITA7

Norway top group after powerful win

EHF / Courtney Gahan

Norway secured their fifth win of the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers on Sunday evening and with it first place in group 6, as they overthrew Italy 37:16. Belarus also recorded their fifth victory of the phase as they won against Latvia 30:26.

The result meant Norway finished the qualifiers with 10 points, with just one loss having marred their campaign – against Belarus in January with the leading stars absent due to the World Championship. Belarus also had their only loss against Norway and gathered 10 points in the qualifiers.

Italy and Latvia each collected two points thanks to one win, with each the victors in their home match against the other. Italy ranked third in the group while Latvia finished fourth. As Latvia is one of the worst fourth-place teams, they must enter the relegation round for EHF EURO 2024 with Luxembourg plus three teams advancing from this year's IHF/EHF Trophy competition hosted by Georgia (15-21 June).

Belarus vs Latvia 30:26 (10:13)

• Belarus delivered on their role as favourites to win the clash after a first-half scare that saw them trailing by three goals at the break
• Belarus opened stronger, with four unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes before a timeout saw Latvia settle into the game and then grab the upper hand before the half-time
• the home side’s impressive start was helped by a 100 per cent record from goalkeeper Viachaslau Saldatsenka in the first 10 minutes — four of his 10 saves in the game were made in this period
• Belarus took the lead 13 minutes into the second half, at 19:18, and cemented their hold on the game with a run of goals that quickly took them to a clearer difference Latvia could never overcome
• Belarus earned the same points as Norway in the qualifiers. As each team won against the other by the same margin (eight goals), Belarus placed second due to having scored fewer goals away

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