Greece top table, Kosovo and Belgium share pointsArticle
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: Greece top the group rankings; Kosovo and Belgium pick up their first points in round 2 of World Championship qualification

After a tight first half, Greece moved ahead of Turkey to take their second win in phase 1 of European qualification for the IHF Men's World Championship 2023 on Sunday night.

Belgium earned their first point with a draw in Kosovo after another close match. 

Group 1 will resume in January, with a further four rounds of matches ahead to determine the two teams who will progress to the second phase of qualification.

Greece vs Turkey 24:20 (10:9)

  • with a slow start for Turkey, Greece eased out to a five-goal lead towards the end of the first quarter, with three goals by right wing Dimitrios Tziras helping
  • however, Turkey struck back, and with centre back Halil Öztürk netting inside the last 20 seconds of the first half, they went into the break only one goal down
  • Greece dominated again at the beginning of the second half, establishing a six-goal buffer and taking advantage of Turkey's mistakes 
  • although Turkey again rallied, Greece were in control and were able to withstand the last attacks for victory
  • in a low-scoring game, left back Christodoulos Mylonas was the top scorer with six goals from 10 shots

Kosovo vs Belgium 28:28 (14:12)

  • it took Kosovo a quarter of the game to find their feet, while Belgium made a quick and efficient start to take the early lead
  • Belgium then failed to find the net for nine minutes, allowing Kosovo to move ahead with a 4:0 run 
  • both sides held the lead more than once during the second half, but Julien Cadel equalised for Belgium with two and a half minutes on the clock
  • Cadel's goal was the last of the match. Drenit Tahirukaj had an opportunity to win with a direct free throw after Kosovo's final attack was blocked by Belgium, but his shot went high
  • Tahirukaj and Quinten Colman both scored six times; 11 players from each team netted at least once

TEXT: Joanne Harris