Hungary are on course toward the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France after beginning their qualification campaign with two victories in two matches. After a commanding 37:12 win in Round 1 against qualification phase 2 debutants Kosovo, Hungary claimed a second clear victory away in Minsk on Sunday.
The 2000 European champions remained focused on their tactics throughout the match, under the guidance of Danish coach Kim Rasmussen, who led Hungary to a final result of 25:18 in the Round 2 game against Belarus.
Belarus vs Hungary 18:25 (8:12)
Though Hungary finished with a clear victory, it took some time before they got the upper hand.
It was a low-scoring game due to excellent performances from the goalkeepers – Biro Blanko for Hungary, and Belarus’ Valiantsina Kumpel – and the less-than-perfect attack from both sides, which resulted in a high number of attacking errors and turnovers in the early minutes.
Belarus created an early lead, holding a 4:2 advantage when Hungary’s coach Rasmussen called his first time-out, during which it was clear his team’s defence was not working exactly as planned. Their attack however, quickly became more organised after the pause.
With two consecutive goals after this, Hungary equalised, then took the lead in the last 10 minutes of the half.
A scoreless period for Belarus, from the 25th minute through to the early minutes of the second half, was key in Hungary creating the decisive lead. At half-time the visitors were in front by four, and only continued to pull ahead when the match resumed.
While Hungary never allowed themselves to feel too comfortable, throughout the second period it was clear the two points would not be staying in Minsk. With 15 minutes left they had a clear 19:13 lead and as the distance remained more or less the same, at 23:16 with five minutes remaining, Hungary were clearly on their way to a win.