Defending champions qualify for semi-finalsArticle
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REVIEW: 2015 champions Faroe Islands secure a place in the 2nd IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship Semi-finals alongside Turkey, Cyprus and Kosovo.

»EHF Euro Events Channel »2017 Men's News

Defending champions qualify for semi-finals

Turkey, Cyprus, Kosovo and Faroe Islands booked places in the 2nd IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship Semi-finals with clear victories in their respective quarter-finals, played on Friday evening.

The top three of them will eventually earn a spot in the Men's EHF EURO 2020 Qualification. The semi-finals are played on Saturday. Live streaming is available on the Bulgarian Handball Federation's Youtube channel.

2015 champions Faroe Islands continue on the path to defending their title after a 30:24 win against hosts Bulgaria, who led the match 14:13 at half-time. After the level first half, Faroe Islands controlled the second period completely to finish with the decisive difference. Both sides’ top scorers shot at 100 per cent accuracy, with Hans Eli Sigurbjornsson contributing nine goals toward Faroe Islands victory and Dhoshkin Yakubov scoring six for Bulgaria.

“We missed many clear chances. The Faroe Islands goalkeeper had a very strong game,” Bulgaria coach Georgi Andreev told the official website of the Bulgarian Handball Federation. “The decisive moment was the beginning of the second half, when they picked up and held on until the end.”

Kosovo, who hosted the first edition of the tournament in 2015 where they placed third, defeated Luxembourg 34:23 after holding a 17:11 advantage at half-time. Cyprus also created their clear lead in the first half, as they took a 16:9 advantage into the break and finished the match with a 10-goal score line at 36:26.

Turkey’s task was a little harder, as they were in front by just one goal at 16:15 at half-time, before pulling ahead to a final result of 32:26. Turkey were led by 15 goals from the team’s lethal right back Ramazan Done, who scored 53 goals in the VELUX EHF Champions League for Besiktas Mogaz HT this season.

In the first of the placement round 9-16 matches, Ireland defeated Malta 31:22, Azerbaijan recorded a 39:21 victory versus Armenia, Great Britain beat Albania 42:15, and Moldova had a comfortable 48:14 win against Andorra.

The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, with Turkey taking on Cyprus and Kosovo meeting Faroe Islands. The teams that lost their quarter-finals will play the placement round 5-8, also on Saturday, as the 9-16 play-offs continue.

TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ts