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Hollow victory for Swiss handballers

No smiles for Ivan Ursic (left) and Stefan Massa despite winning the game against Poland

(Keystone)

Switzerland's national handball team have scored a tight victory over Poland, but the win wasn't enough to take them to the 2003 world championships.

The Swiss knew they had their work cut out for them after the two teams met last weekend in Poland. The Poles took the first match of the doubleheader 23-19.

To reach next year's championships in Portugal, the Swiss had to overcome the four-goal deficit at home, a difficult, but not impossible task.

In Olten, the two teams were evenly matched for three quarters of the game, but with 10 minutes to go, the Swiss had managed to pull four goals ahead, leading 23-19. Their hopes of qualification were however short-lived.

A series of individual errors on the Swiss side allowed Poland to claw their way back into the match, scoring six goals in the last minutes versus just three to Switzerland.

Although the final scoreline, 26-25, gave the win to the Swiss, it opened the doors of the world championships to the Poles with an overall tally of 48 goals to Switzerland's total of 45.

swissinfo with agencies


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