Estonia deny Georgia as Finland dominateArticle
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GROUP 2 REVIEW: A big win for Finland and a closer one for Estonia puts them through to the next qualification phase

Finland and Estonia booked their places in the next phase of qualification for the IHF Men's World Championship 2023 on the final day of the group 2 tournament on Sunday.

Finland took a decisive victory against Great Britain in the first match of the day, while Estonia beat Georgia in a much closer second match to decide the group. Previously, Finland had beaten Estonia and drawn with Georgia, while Estonia also beat Great Britain on Saturday.

The two nations will progress to phase 2 of European qualification, with their hopes of playing in the World Championship in Poland and Sweden in 2023 still alive.

Great Britain vs Finland 22:38 (10:16)

  • Great Britain started strongly and the match was level for 10 minutes, but several technical errors and simultaneous two-minute suspensions for Francisco Pereira and David Klaening proved costly
  • an 8:2 run for Finland in the second 10 minutes effectively dashed Great Britain's hopes of leaving the tournament with a win 
  • Finland took their first 10-goal lead after 40 minutes and were dominant for the rest of the game
  • Finland's goalkeeper Mikael Mäkelä had a particularly good day, saving 10 goals for a 43 per cent efficiency
  • British wing Sebastien Edgar scored the first and last goals of the game to finish with eight goals in the match and 19 across the tournament

Estonia vs Georgia 31:27 (15:16)

  • the first half largely went Georgia's way, with the men in red leading for much of the 30 minutes and preventing Estonia from scoring for nearly seven minutes in the second quarter
  • however, right wing Jürgen Rooba led a late fightback that put Estonia back in the match ahead of the half-time buzzer
  • after the break, Rooba and Karl Toom picked up where they left off, heralding a second half in which the lead changed hands several times
  • the last five minutes proved decisive for Estonia as, despite Roosna serving a suspension, three goals by Mait Patrail gave them the lead
  • Rooba's 10th goal of the game sealed the win for Estonia; Irakli Kbilashvili and Teimuraz Orjonikidze both scored six for Georgia

TEXT: Joanne Harris