Sweden stop Russian winning streak
Sweden knew that the game against Russia was a must-win if they wanted to qualify for the semi-finals of the EHF EURO 2022, and they delivered their best performance in the tournament, taking a 29:23 win.
Russia vs Sweden 23:29 (13:16)
- Sweden relied heavily on their defence during the game, preventing Russia from scoring for two prolonged stints, with Velimir Petkovic’s side putting only two goals past Andreas Palicka in 18 minutes and three seconds
- a 7:2 run between the 22nd and the 39th minutes was the backbone of Sweden’s win, as Russia, who missed their top scorer, back Sergei Mark Kosorotov, could not find answers to the Scandinavian defence
- left wing Hampus Wanne, the Grundfos Player of the Match, was once again the driving force behind Sweden’s attack, scoring nine goals, improving his tally in the tournament to 28 goals, the second best output in the top goal scorer standings
- Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Palicka was instrumental in his team’s win, having his best outing at the EHF EURO 2022, with 15 saves and a 39 per cent saving efficiency
- Russia’s undoing was their attack, who scored at a 62 per cent rate in the preliminary round, but dropped to 51 per cent in this game
Sweden tick the correct boxes to deal Russia first blow
Sweden were on the brink of elimination in the preliminary round match against the Czech Republic, but pulled through and they look like they hit the right form exactly when they needed it. Coach Glenn Solberg urged his back players to shoot more from behind the nine-metre line and they delivered today, as left back Eric Johansson scored both of his goals with shots clocked at over 120 km/h.
Sweden’s win reshapes the dynamic of group II in Bratislava, now tying Russia at points, two each, before the Scandinavian side faces Poland tomorrow. With their first loss of the competition, Russia must now regroup, as coach Velimir Petkovic will surely need more from the back line, after relying heavily on line players Aleksandr Ermakov and Pavel Andreev, who were their team’s top scorers, combining for nine goals.
We are back in the game now, everything is possible, but we play against extremely good teams. Hopefully we can continue winning, but it will be very, very difficult.
It was a very difficult match, which was not running according to our plan. We spent so much energy in the previous games and could not come back today. In the next matches we try again.