Belarus exit EHF EURO 2022 on a high note
Belarus secured their first win at the EHF EURO 2022 in their last game in the Ondrej Nepela Aréna in Bratislava, dominating Austria, 29:26.
- Belarus used two 3:0 unanswered runs to take the lead and never look back in the second half, as Austria’s attacking efficiency dipped to 59 per cent in the last 30 minutes
- for the sixth game in a row, a streak dating back to the EHF EURO 2020, right wing Mikita Vailupau, the Grundfos Player of the Match, was Belarus’ top scorer in a game. He hit eight past Austria to improve his overall tally at the EHF EURO 2022 to 20 goals
- in his 200th game for Austria the fifth most-capped player for Ales Pajovic’s side, right wing Robert Weber, scored only once to take his overall tally to 856 goals
- Belarus’ 17th goal in the game, scored by right back Aleh Astrashapkin, was their 1,000th in history at the EHF EURO, with Belarus becoming the 14th team to reach this milestone in the competition
- for the second time in five editions at the EHF EURO, Austria exited the tournament with three losses, suffering the same fate at Croatia 2018
Key absence derails Belarus’ campaign
Austria’s defence leaked the largest number of goals from any of the sides present at the EHF EURO 2022 in the first two games, 70, but in the game against Belarus it was their attack who did not manage to cope. Belarus’ coach, Iouri Chevtsov, made a brilliant move to man mark Austria’s most dangerous player, Nikola Bilyk, and it worked out wonders, with the THW Kiel star scoring only four goals.
Belarus’ win meant that Chevtsov’s side finished third in the group, but 17th in the tournament, their worst finish ever. Yet with a young team and missing key back Uladzislau Kulesh in the last two games, Belarus have surely learnt a thing or two to bring with them to the next competitions.
We are happy that we finished the tournament with a win. Today, we channelled all of our strength to play good, but it was difficult without three key players. Yet our young players did very good and managed to help us win this game. My players did all the tasks I directed them to do and we are going home with a win.
It was a really tough game, we really wanted to win this one, we did too many mistakes, especially in the second half, when we scored 10 goals. In defence, they took advantage of the space we left them and this is why they lost.