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Swiss handball team lose again in Norway

Switzerland's handball team have lost their second friendly match in two days away to Norway. As with Friday's game, Urs Mühlenthaler's side lost by just two goals.

In front of just 300 spectators, the visitors were beaten 24-22, having lost 22-20 twenty-four hours earlier.

While Friday's game had plenty of positive aspects, the rematch revealed some worrying gaps in the Swiss defence, particularly in the first half. In attack, the team were still without their top-scorer Marc Baumgartner, who is suffering from a muscle injury. Without him Switzerland were dependent on strong performances from Massa, Gautschi or Ursic - but none of them could quite fill the void.

After the match, Mühlethaler agreed that the defence had been particularly shaky. "We could have done better in defence," he said. "But we certainly didn't play terribly and were able to adapt well to a higher playing level without much time to acclimatise."

The friendly matches are being played in preparation for Switzerland's World Championship playoffs against Ukraine. On Monday, the side travel to Germany for their third and final warm-up game.

Asked whether Baumgartner would be available for that game, Mühlethaler said he would wait and see. "Considering the importance of the matches against Ukraine, I certainly don't want to risk anything," he insisted.

swissinfo with agencies

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