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Estonia bow out with away win

MATCH REVIEW: Switzerland are first team through to the last qualification stage despite a narrow home defeat.


Photo: foto-net / Alexander Wagner

Having lost 26:34 at home in the first leg, the 32:31 away win in the second match against Switzerland Friday night was far from being enough to Estonia. But at least they left the qualification tournament for the EHF EURO 2016 with their honour restored, while Switzerland are ready for the final stage of the qualification tournament.

Switzerland vs Estonia 31:32 (16:14)
First leg  34:26. Aggregate 65:58

Having won the first match away as clearly as 34:26, Switzerland had more or less reduced the return match to a formality, and despite losing by one goal the hosts left no doubt about the total outcome in the Sporthalle Kreuzbleiche in St. Gallen Friday night.

Estonia got the better start, though, and in a high scoring opening phase of the match, the visitors were leading by two goals several times, before David Graubner gave Switzerland their first lead at 13:12 after 23 minutes. The home team stayed on top for the rest of the first half which they won by two, 16:14.

Switzerland continued their positive streak and opened the second half by increasing their lead to three goals, but after four Estonian goals in succession, the rest of the game became equal.

Estonia were leading several times towards the end, but they never got any further ahead than two goals which meant that there was never any real doubt that Switzerland were going to proceed to the next qualification round.

Two players from the German Bundesliga became top scorers for their respective teams. Rhein-Neckar Löwen playmaker Andre Schmid scored eight times for Switzerland, while left back Mait Patrail from TSV Hannover-Burgdorf hit the net seven times for Estonia.

written by Peter Bruun / br