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Swiss handballers halfway to world championship

Switzerland's national handball team has beaten the Ukraine 20-17 in the first of two play-off matches for next year's world championship in France.

Urs Mühlethaler's team were able to open up a three goal lead in the last twelve minutes of time to win the match. Goalie Christian Meisterhans played a large part in keeping that lead in the closing stages of the game when he saved a penalty and a rebound shot.

After the win in front of 2,300 fans in Sursee, canton Lucerne, Mühlethaler said the team had done just about everything right. "There's no perfect game in handball, but overall we showed that we are playing well at the moment."

The trainer was more cautious about next Saturday's return match in the Ukraine. "We've still got a lot of hard work ahead of us," he said.

swissinfo with agencies

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