Finland and Bosnia Herzegovina take the last two places in the pot for the draw for Qualification Round 2 for the EHF EURO 2016.
That became a fact Saturday, as Finland managed to change a 32:30 deficit from their first match away against Romania into a 62:61 aggregate win after a thrilling finish in the return match on home court.
Bosnia Herzegovina did not have nearly as much trouble as Finland, when the Bosnians played at home in the second leg of their tie against Greece.
After a 28:23 win away, Bosnia won by five again, this time 27:22.
The draw of the Qualification Round 2 will take place on Friday 11 April in Warsaw.
Finland vs Romania 32:29 (15:13)
First leg 30:32. Aggregate 62:61
Men's handball in Finland is making itself heard this spring. Recently, Cocks Riihimäen made it to the quarter-finals of the Men's Challenge Cup which is the finest achievement in Europe by a Finnish club team so far.
This Saturday, then, the national team made sure to be in the pot for the draw for Qualification Round 2 for the EHF EURO 2016.
Finland were close to throwing it all away after being eight goals up in the second half against Romania in the Sisu Arena in Karjaa.
However, the ninth goal from Romania's top scorer Ionut Ramba came too late for the visitors. Nine seconds were remaining, when Ramba reduced to 32:29. One Romanian goal more would have resulted in extra time.
Finland were leading from the start, and for most of the first half they were up with exactly the two goals which were crucial after the Romanian 32:30 win in the first match.
Two goals was also the distance at half time, but from the start of the second half, the home team became more and more dominating.
Through a focused and concentrated effort, the Finnish lead was increased to six, seven and even eight goals, and Finland seemed sure to reach the next qualification round.
However, a strong Romanian finish was close to changing the picture completely, but at the end Finland managed to fight off the Romanian approach and make sure to be in the pot for the draw in Warsaw on Friday.
Bosnia Herzegovina vs Greece 27:22 (17:12)
First leg 28:23. Aggregate 55:45
Bosnia Herzegovina left no doubt as to which team was going to proceed to Qualification Round 2, as they took on Greece in the Sports Hall of Cazin.
Having a five goal lead with them home from the first leg, the Bosnians were obviously close to the next round already before the second match, and with their home crowd of 2,500 spectators to support them in the second match they made everything clear in a hurry.
Already at half-time were the hosts leading by five goals, and five goals was also the difference at the end, and Bosnia could book the ticket for the next round with a total win of 10 goals.