The EHF week this November was used for making some strategic adjustments to the game as well as incorporating the new players of the national teams from Europe. For the participants of Euro 2014 it was the first control of the capabilities of the teams as well as a preview for the coaches for the strengths and weaknesses of their teams. Besides two great tournaments in Oslo where Croatia, Denmark, Norway, and France were playing and in Hamburg were Germany played against Poland, Sweden and Egypt, the rest of the teams played double matches with the same team, Macedonia against Montenegro, Serbia against Czech Republic and Austria against Iceland and Hungary against Spain.
Czech Republic and Serbia, faced each other in a double-header. The first match on Friday, 1 November, ended in a 29-29 all draw. In the second match on Saturday Czech Republic took a 30:25 victory.
On Friday evening, the Czech national team played against Serbia in a completely balanced duel on home court in Prague. On Sunday, Czechs very well defended their game, they were more confident than on Friday. Although the opening minutes of the match belonged to the handball players from the Balkans, the Czech precise attack scored five times in a row, turned the game to their advantage from 1:3 to 6:3, which was sign for the new Serbian coach Matic to take time out. Czechs maintained three, four goals ahead, the combinations played out exactly as planned and 16th minute Serbian bench again called for time-out (10:5)! The tenth and eleventh goal of the Czech team transformed from a handful of fast attack and showed another possible weapon for the home team. Thirteen is then proved to be lucky for Hanisch! For him, this meant a fluke goal in the first representative career!
In the 23rd minutes, Manojlovic was seated on the bench, on the power-play Bečvář went on the field and immediately scored. During the power-play Czechs increased their lead and five minutes before the end of the half it was 15-10. In the closing seconds of the first half, Filip Jicha was finally revealed to the audience, who otherwise due to health problems supported his teammates, but his coach safely transformed mandated seven-meter.
In the second half again the Czechs opened the score, with another goal of Horak. Czech goalkeeper was on the level of his task, but the Serbs managed to decrease the deficit to 21:17. Then Galia after great save throw the ball into a fast attack to Jurkat, after the goal from Bečvář, a six goals lead Czechs was back (23:17).
At the beginning of the last quarter of the match Galia was replaced by Štochl. In 46 minute Serbia had an attempt from the seven-meter line through Nikcevic, Serbian players had the momentum and got close to the lead of the home team, Czechs despite the efforts of the Serbian team maintained on a five-goals lead. In the attack the Czechs began to be a little deconcentrated, that is why Czech bench took time-out (25:21). The home team was back into the game and ten minutes before the end it was already eight goals difference (29:21)! Serbs, although in the end still managed to slightly correct, but victory rejuvenated Czech team and securely ended the preparatory match, 30:25.
Czech Republic – Serbia 30:25 (19:12)
Top scorers Czech Republic: Mrkva, Galia, Štochl – Hrstka 2, Bečvář 3, Jurka 5, Vančo 2, Jícha 1, Sobol 2, Horák 6, Mráz 4, Stehlík, Babák, Sklenák 1, Hanisch 2, Šindelář 2, Kasal
Top scorers Serbia: Rnic 7, Nikcevic 5, Zelenovic 4
Referees: Opava, Válek
Jaroslav Hudeček, coach of the Czech Republic:
” About today’s game can only speak in superlatives. We got Although the truncated group and some players who also played most of the game yesterday, was known fatigue. But even so, we are satisfied with the performance. Bothering us while pivot position, but even today, we have shown that if we keep the pressure on joints, it’s playable. We know our mistakes and we know what we have to work. And before the championship even improve on it. “
Vladan Matic, Serbia coach:
“Catastrophic was in our administration of the first half of the match. Then we tried to rise, but the Czechs played us, keep the lead and deservedly won. “
The double-header between Austria and Iceland ended with one win each for both teams. Iceland won the first match on Friday 29:28, but Austria successfully took revenge and beat their opponents 33:32 in the re-match on Saturday.
Austria’s national men’s team in the second game in the arena in Traun defeated Iceland(in the first match one day before Iceland won with one goal difference): Today we celebrate a 33:32 victory over the 2008 Olympics Second and Third of European Championship of 2010. Austrians were much better in this match then the day before. In the opening minutes, both teams keep the pace high. Richie Woss celebrated his comeback after a long time in an international match and he was the first guide for the Austrians to 3:2 play out until the 10th minute, Santos with Wilczynski, expand the lead to four plus, 9:5. After the Icelanders returned more into the game, Austria in turn did not use some chances in attack and the result went by a narrow 17:16 lead in the break. During the second half Patrekur Jóhannesson relied on Dominik Ascherbauer and Marian Klopcic on the outer positions. But the team could not connect to the performance of the first half at the start, in 38th minute with 20:23 in deficit, Patrekur Jóhannesson called for the first time-out. After 48 minutes of play Austria get close to minus two, 28:30, Raul Santos, from 7 meters managed to score back to 28:29. Five minutes before the end of the Austrians even took the lead again through Ziura for 31:30. In this phase, the team relied on the keeper Nikola Marinovic, and Raul Santos secure his fourth seven meters to 32:31. In the last attack the Austrians got 7 meter penalty over Christoph Edelmüller and Raul Santos transformed it surely to 33:32.
Patrekur Jóhannesson coach:
“It’s nice to win against a nation like Iceland and knowing that we can still play better and still have room for improvement. Super was that I could also give the players who otherwise do not always play a lot of game time and really have all brought their performance. Earlier, it was easy to nominate an Austrian team but now many players come up: the boys make me definitely not easy to make a decision on who to Denmark mitfährt But in this situation, I’m happy. “!
Iceland vs. Austria. 33:32 (17:16) GBR: Bozovic (6), Santos (5/5), Szilagyi (4), Klopcic (4), Ziura (3), Hermann A. (2), Woss (2) .ISL Best Bowler: Olafsson (9)
Macedonia lost their first test match, an encounter that was played over three times 20 minutes, against Montenegro 28:29. The second test was played in regular format and Macedonia won 26:21 on November 2.
Macedonia in front of packed sport hall “Park” in Strumica defeated the Montenegrin national team, which is led by the ex-coach of Macedonian champion Vardar Skopje, Zoran Kastratovic. Naumce Mojsovski, opened the score, but Rakcevic, his former teammate from Metalurg, quickly responded. Montenegro had three goals lead in 12th minute with a goal by the best player on court Rakcevic. Macedonian coach, Ivica Obrvan, called the first time-out of the match. In the first 20 minutes Stojcevski was on middle back position in Macedonian team, but he did not take advantage of the chance he got, completely, the attack was with no fresh ideas and everything was left to individual moves, and Macedonians were still trailing behind. In 23th minute, after 3-0 series, Manaskov scored for new lead 9-8 for Macedonia. The first half ended with a draw 11-11.
The second half started same as the first, Mojsovski scored from 7 meter line. Fifteen minutes was playing goal by goal and neither team get more than one goal lead, until Nikola Mitrevski substituted Borko Ristevski between the posts. Montenegrins did not know how to get the ball behind Macedonian goalkeeper, and from 18-18 Macedonia made 6-0 series for 24-18 in 50th minute. The last 10 minutes were just a formality, Macedonian team routinely finished this match and the final score was 26-21.
Russia and Belarus played a four-nation tournament in Tunisia. Russia came second after they beat Brazil 26:25 and Belarus 31:27, but lost against Tunisia 24:28.
Belarus only gained one point overall following a 30:30-draw against Brazil and losses to Russia(27:31) and Tunisia (25:26).