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Date: 1/19/2013

The final decisions of the preliminary round of the Men’s World Championship in Spain had to be taken by the final matches in the groups C in Sevilla and D in Madrid today (19 January). As the Slovenians beat Serbia after a great catch-up chase they confirmed the group victory with a clean record of five victories. Due to the defeat Serbia finishes third below Poland and have to face Spain in their eight-finals.

In Madrid, Hungary confirmed their third position in group D after their third victory against Algeria and additionally made Egypt celebrate – as the Egyptians qualified for the eight-finals thanks to the better goal difference compared to Algeria (both three points).

Those are the fixtures of the eight-finals:

20 January:


Eight-final 6: Germany  – FYR Macedonia (15.45 hrs local times)

Eight-final 3:  Iceland – France (20.15 hrs local times)



Eight-final 1: Denmark – Tunisia (20.15 hrs local time)

Eight-final 7: Brazil – Russia (17.30 hrs  local time)


21 January: 


Eight-final 8: Slovenia  – Egypt (19.00 hrs local time)

Eight-final 2: Hungary –Poland  (21.30 hrs local time)



Eight-final 4: Croatia - Belarus (21.30 hrs local time)

Eight-final 5: Serbia – Spain (19.00 hrs local time)


Today’s final preliminary round matches:


Group C in Zaragoza:

Serbia – Slovenia 31:33 (16:19)

In the last and decisive match of preliminary group C Slovenia won the roller coaster ride against Serbia by 33:31 to be the confirmed winner of this group and will play against Egypt, and Serbia, as third in this group C is going to face Spain. Poland, second ranked in Zaragoza is heading for their knockout match against Hungary in Barcelona. The match started very close between two equal competitors. But after an 11:10 lead (18.) Serbia started to cause some mistakes which were punished by the Slovenians, who scored three straight times. Serbia could not stop this run of the Slovenians, so it was 19:16 after the first 30 minutes.

In the beginning of the second half Slovenia even extended the gap to 21:17, but it took the Serbian team only a few minutes to turn this match upside down. After 41 minutes they were in lead by 22:21 and forged ahead to 25:22 after 47 minutes. But still nothing was decided. After 56 minutes and 25 seconds it was again a 30:30 draw. And after six goals in a row Slovenia was in lead by 33:30 20 seconds before the end. Best scorers of the match were Dragan Gajic from Slovenia and Marko Vujin from Serbia with six goals each.

Statements after the matches:

Veselin Vukovic (coach Serbia): We played a very bad defense during the first half. But then we changed some things in defence and attack. We had our chances to pre-decide the match in the middle of the second half, when my team was in a good shape. But then we missed some good chances and Slovenia came back into the match. The eight-final against Spain will be much more difficult than this match.

Boris Denic (coach Slovenia): We did not start very good. But then we improved and were in lead by three goals after the first half. After a bad performance in the beginning of the second half we changed our defence and the Serbian players didn´t know what to do anymore. That was the key for our success.


Group D in Madrid:

Hungary – Algeria 29:26 (14:8)

Algeria could not stand the power and the individual skills in this “all-or-nothing” match, in which they at least needed one point to qualify for the eight-finals. The African runners-up was only on eye level until the score of 6:6, before the Hungarians improved their defence and scored a decisive 8:2 series until the break. Also goalkeeper Roland Mikler made a high contribution to this clear lead. In the second half, Hungary increased the gap to nine goals, though coach Lajos Mocsai made a big rotation and his team decelerated. In this early period of the second half, Algeria could not endanger their competitor anymore, but though they knew that they miss eight-finals and will proceed to the President’s Cup they never gave up. In minute 48 the gap was only four goals at 23:19 and Algeria could hold this quite distance until the final whistle.

Statements after the match:

Lajos Mocsai, coach Hungary: This match was really difficult. We had qualified very early for the eight-finals, but of course we wanted to finish this round with a victory. Algeria was very motivated and gave us a big fight by their aggressive defence. Now we face Poland, the most powerful and experienced team from group C.

Gabor Ancsin, player Hungary: We are very happy with those two points in this important game, as those points provide us with a bigger confidence for the next round. Now we hope to beat Poland and proceed to the quarter-finals.

Salah Bouchekiou, coach Algeria: We did not accomplish our goal to reach the eight-finals, so I have to motivate my players now for the President’s Cup. Saudi Arabia will be our biggest opponent on the way to win this.

Sassi Boultif, player Algeria: Partly I am satisfied with pour performance in the preliminary round, partly not. After a weak start against Spain we improved our level, but there is still space for improvement.