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Date: 6/22/2015

Last Preliminary Round matchday decided on quarter-finalists

 Group A

After two impeccable outings in the first two games, the host nation suffered its first defeat in the hands of Faroe Islands.

Still, Kosovars had already booked their tickets to the quarter-finals as the second placed team in Group A, while Faroe Islands with this victory locked the top position in the group.

Knowing that first place is at stake, Faroe Islands played at high pace right from the start and that proved to be too much for the locals who could not shine as bright as in the matches before in their last  - and undoubtedly toughest - game in Group A.

The first half finished with a 19:12 advantage for Faroe Islands and Kosovo had a mountain to climb in the next 30 minutes.

Three games in three days perhaps proved to be a bit too much for the host team as they tried to come back, but defensive effort simply wasn’t there.

At the end Faroe Islands won 36:30 and they proceed to the quarter-finals with 2 wins and one draw.

Too little for the Aussies

Australia beat Armenia in their last encounter in the group phase very convincingly at 61:20. However, even this victory was not enough to book their ticket to the quarter-finals, leaving them playing for the places 9-16 together with Armenia.

 Group B

Great Britain outclassed Albania and managed to record their second win in the three matches of the group phase.

British team won 67:22, which was not unexpected, but back then it was now known whether they had done enough to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Great Britain had beaten Estonia by the difference of a single goal, but they had lost to Cameroon.

Estonia managed to beat Cameroon in their last encounter in the group stage at 30:26 after leading the first half 14:12, and this proved to be enough for them to qualify to the quarter- finals.

As the final standings of Group B show, Cameroon, Great Britain and Estonia have each finished three games with 4 points in total.

However, Cameroon’s win versus Great Britain and Estonia’s win versus Cameroon, worked in favour of Cameroon and Estonia.

 Group C

After losing their first match against Malta, China needed a victory in the duel with Moldova in order to secure one of the two top spots in Group D and to proceed to the quarter-finals.

Largely as predicted, the match was a close one throughout its course, but Chinese players seemed to have the upper hand most of the time.

Moldova finished the first half with a two goal advantage at 14:12, but nothing was taken for granted in the next 30 minutes.

China managed to keep the score tight, they even lead towards the end of the match. However, in the dying seconds of the game none of the teams managed to hold on to their lead and the match ended in a draw 30:30 after one of the more dramatic finishes in the group stage.

China‘s faith after the match laid in the hands of Malta and their fixture with Ireland.

Malta pulled out one of the surprises of the tournament by beating China in their first match and they did just enough to win versus Ireland so they would position themselves in front of China in Group D and proceed to the quarter-finals.

The Irish were very wary of the importance of the match, so they took no chances, but imposed their presence on the floor from the very beginning.

After 30 minutes the score sheet showed 17:10 and the vast part of the job was already done.

In the second half, Malta had to manage the game and the advantage and they did just enough to qualify to the quarters without risking anything in the process.

Final score: 29:25. Alex DiPilato had another amazing performance with 12 goals and Patrick McAuley was again leader for Ireland with 7 goals. 

Group D

Latvia beat Uruguay in the best match of Group D, which brought together the two undefeated teams in the first two rounds.

Uruguay played better in the first half and lead by two goals 11:13 after 30 minutes. However, the second half was characterized by many 2-minute suspensions and none of the teams were able to play with their best players on the floor constantly.

In the very last minutes Latvians were able to run faster and endure more, thus being able to turn the tables on Uruguay.

Latvia won at 26:24 in the end, a triumph manly lead by Trifavnos with 9 goals.

Velasco scored 7 goals for Uruguay.

Bulgaria defeated Andorra in a match which had little impact in the group standings and concluded the group phase of the tournament.

The match in Gjakova finished 47:12 and the second half was an almost symmetrical show to the first 30 minutes which ended 23:6.


Quarter Finals

Faroe Islands vs Cameroon

Estonia vs Kosovo

Moldova vs Uruguay

Latvia vs Malta