After a poor start, Zurman's team only took the measure of the Kosovo national team

After a poor start, Zurman’s team only took the measure of the Kosovo national team

The Slovenian men’s handball team won qualification for the 2024 European Championship in Germany, beating Bosnia and Herzegovina 28:20 in the opening match in Maribor on Thursday, and Kosovo 29:24 today in the first away game of this qualifying session in Pristina.

In their second match this week, Slovenia didn’t put in a dazzling performance, but it got its job all done. In the first qualifying round, she achieved two victories and approached the final of the Continental Championship that will take place between January 10 and 28, 2024 in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Mannheim.

And after this week’s opening victories, in the continuation of the qualifiers, Slovenia will face Montenegro twice in the first half of March next year, and at the end of April, it will face Bosnia and Herzegovina away and Kosovo at home.

Slovenia and Montenegro, who beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 36:25 away from home today, collected four points each in two matches, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo did not get any. The two best streaks selected from Group 7 will qualify for the final tournament.

The first-class Slovenian handball players had a poor start to the match in Pristina. Their match started dropping everywhere, and in the 14th minute, coach Urus Zurman was also furious, and, trailing 6:8, called for a one-minute break.

But his instructions initially did not make any change on the field, and at the same time the Slovenian deficit grew to three goals (6:9, 7:10 and 9:12).

In the last period of the first half of the match, Slovenian handball players played more aggressively. In the 25th minute, after Domino McCook’s goal, they tied at 12:12, and after a partial result 5: 0, they entered the second half with a difference of two goals (14:12).

Zurmann’s selection did not particularly shine in the second half, but they dominated throughout their opponents. In the 41st minute, after a goal from Blaž Janac, they advanced for the first time in the match by five goals (21:16), and won the most advantage in the 55th minute, when it was 28. : 21.

In today’s match in Pristina, Blaž Janc was the most effective in the Slovenian national team with six goals, and Alex Flah contributed five.

European Handball Championship 2024 Qualifiers: Slovenia - Bosnia and Herzegovina Urus Zurman


Zurman: Beware of falling into the trap



At the beginning of next year – between January 11 and 29 – the Slovenian national team will play in the World Championships in Poland and Sweden. In the first part of the competition, Slovenia will play in Katowice, where it will face France, Poland and Saudi Arabia.

The Old Continent’s final tournament, which will take place between January 10 and 28, 2024, will feature all first and second-placed teams from all eight qualifying groups, as well as the four best third-placed national teams.

EP 2024 Qualifiers, Group 7, Round 2:

Sunday 16 October:
Kosovo: Slovenia 24:29 (12:14)
Gjuka 6, Tahirukaj 5, Jupa 4; Janc 6, Vlah 5, Makuc, Ovniček and Kodrin 3 each

Bosnia and Herzegovina : Montenegro 25:36 (11:21 am)

2. Montenegro 2 matches – 4 points
2- Slovenia 2-4
3. Kosovo 2 – 0
4. Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 – 0

Kosovo: Slovenia 24:29 (12:14)

The Slovenian handball players started the match in Priština drowsy, uncommitted to defense and unfocused in attack. The Kosovar players knew how to take advantage of this, they advanced in a ratio of 3:1, before the selected players from the selector Urus Zurman woke up a bit and picked up contact with the hosts. However, they continued to advance, at 8:6 for the home team in the 14th minute Zurman took a one-minute break, but it did not go far. In the 18th minute, the Kosovar handball players had already led +3 (10:7), when Darko Sengezar brought the Slovenian national team to -2 (10:8), the Kosovo coach also took a minute of rest.

The host team continued to play well, advancing in a 12:9 ratio, and then the Slovenes also began to win. In the 26th minute, Domin Makuch equalized at 12:12. McCook scored in the 28th minute to give Slovenia the lead with a time of 13:12. The final result of the first half (12:14) was determined by Juri Dolenik. Eggson Jukka scored five goals in the first 30 minutes of the match and Drilon Tahirokaj added three. In the Slovenian team, Alex Flah scored four goals, while Rok Ovnicek and Domin McCok scored three goals each.

The second half started with Slovenian notes, Blaž Blagotinšek increased the difference to 15:12, but the Kosovars also responded quickly with a goal by Jon Muqolli, then Bla Janc increased the lead to 17:13, and Lulzim Shabani reduced the score to 14:17. Blagotinšek then received a penalty for two minutes. Christian Horchen scored for Slovenia with +4 (18:14). Castriot Juba contributed to the 15th goal for the hosts, Blanc Jank in 19th place for Slovenia.

Egon Jukka beat Clemento Verlaine again in the 39th minute, and Dolenk quickly returned for 20:16. Jank took the lead with +5 in the 41st minute, and Leonard Gigaj reduced to 17:21, then Singsar went to the bench for two minutes, leaving Kosovo without Luigi Kone, who got the red card. Falah made 22:17 in the 44th minute, Drenit Tahirokage answered 18:22. Then Tellen Kudrin got it wrong, Gigg was also inaccurate on the other side, then Kudrin corrected the error and increased to 23:18, but Gigg was also inaccurate on the other side (19:23).

Blagotenchik was the scorer of the twenty-fourth Slovenian goal in the 48th minute, and Janis the twenty-fifth in the 49th minute. Juba scored the 20th goal for Kosovo, and then also received a penalty kick for two minutes. In the 51st minute, it was 21:26, and the last scorers were Mate Tashi for Kosovo and Telin Kudrin for Slovenia. A minute later, Zurman called for a break again. When the match resumed, Christian Horchen boosted Slovenia’s lead to +6 (21:27), followed closely by Jank to +7 (21:28). The Kosovo limiter reacted with a one-minute break.

This was followed by some errors on both sides, as Kudrin stole the ball, McCook lost it, Juba missed the Slovenian goal, then Tahirokai scored a goal and reduced Kosovo’s deficit (23:28). Immediately after that, Tahirokaj lost the ball, Malos missed the opportunity to increase the lead, and Jaca Malos scored in the 60th minute for 29:24, and the final result of the match was determined by Matej Tai (24:29).

Kosovo’s top scorer was Ijzon Juca with six goals, five of which were added by Drilon Tahirokaj and four by Kastriot Juba. Blaž Janc was the top scorer for the Slovenian national team with six goals, Alex Flah contributed five goals, Domin McCok, Rok Ovnicek and Telin Kudrin contributed three goals each.

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