REVIEW: Russia crushed hosts Finland while Estonia gained revenge for their round 1 defeat by Bosnia in the Men's World Championship 2019 Qualification.
Russia dominate as Estonia overturn Bosnia
Group 1 leaders Russia took their second win in this year's Men's World Championship 2019 Qualification, beating home team Finland 35:22 in a convincing show of strength.
Although Russia netted the first goal of the match, Finland answered back quickly with two successive goals. However that was the only time in the whole 60 minutes in which the home side were ahead, as Russia produced a four-goal run to take them into a 5:2 lead.
Midway through the first half Finland managed to get back within one goal of the visitors, but Russia then took control again and were 16:10 up at the break.
The second half began much like the first had ended, with two consecutive goals from the favourites. Despite a continued fight from the hosts, Russia were never really troubled and cruised easily to a even more convincing victory than their 32:22 win against Slovakia on Thursday.
A total of three players scored six goals in the match: Finnish left wing Teemu Tamminen, Russian right wing Dmitry Kovalev and Russian left back Dmitrii Santalov.
Russia now have four points and are in pole position to take Group 1's qualification spot. Finland remain tied with Luxembourg with one point, ahead of the latter's match against Slovakia in Povazská Bystrica on Sunday.
Estonia take their first win
The second match of the day saw Estonia host Bosnia Herzegovina in Group 6. The match followed a 31:24 win by Bosnia at home on Wednesday.
Estonia took a swift lead, quickly notching up a three-goal advantage at 5:2. They were able to repeatedly hold off Bosnia's attacks and finished the first half with a three-goal run to go into the break with a comfortable six-goal cushion.
Whatever Bosnia head coach Bilal Suman said to his men in the dressing rooms must have made an impact, as the visitors returned from the break with determination. They scored three times in succession to narrow Estonia's lead to three and continued pressing back.
Several times in the second half Estonia pulled away again, but Bosnia did not give in and kept pulling back to just a two-goal deficit. But the home side showed more determination at the last, finishing with another two nets to win 29:25 and pick up their first points of the qualification tournament.
Right wing Jurgen Rooba was Estonia's highest scorer, netting eight of their goals, while left back Ivan Karacic and line player Vladimir Vranjes both notched up five for Bosnia.
TEXT: Joanne Harris
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