Poland eliminate Russia despite Korosotov’s heroics
It was a bittersweet feeling for Russia, as they celebrated a stunning last-gasp goal from left back Sergei Mark Kosorotov to tie the game against Poland, 29:29, but were eliminated from contention for a semi-finals berth.
Russia, who are now on three points and have only one game left, cannot finish on the second position, due to tiebreaker rules, losing both a tie against Sweden and a three-way tie with Sweden and Norway.
Poland vs Russia 29:29 (13:12)
- Polish goalkeeper Mateusz Zembrzycki had a superb first half, singlehandedly improving his team's chances by saving 10 shots, for an incredible 67 per cent saving efficiency
- Poland’s last goal of the first half, scored by left wing Przemyslaw Krajewski, who hit the 50th in his career at the EHF EURO, was their 1,500th in the history of the competition, the 13th team in history to reach the milestone
- back after being sidelined with Covid-19, Sergei Mark Kosorotov was instrumental for Russia, scoring eight goals and dishing six assists, while also surprising Polish goalkeeper Zembrzycki with a last-second shot from 15m to tie the score
- scoring six goals, Poland’s Arkadiusz Moryto passed the 50-goal mark at the EHF EURO in his career and also improved his tally to 41 goals at the EHF EURO 2022, enough for the second place in the top goal scorer standings
- while Poland were already eliminated from contention for a semi-finals berth, Russia are also out now. They cannot finish in the top two places, after conceding losses against Spain and Sweden
Russia’s future looks bright with Kosorotov
The Ondrej Nepela Aréna hosted another barn-storming game at the EHF EURO 2022 and probably the one with the wildest finish in the competition. With 17 seconds to go, Poland had the attack and Russia’s coach, Velimir Petkovic, was sent off for protests, leaving his team with one less player on the court.
Right back Michal Daszek helped Poland take the lead, 29:28, with three seconds left, but Russia took a timeout. With so little time on attack, it was always going to be a tough ask for Russia to make a comeback, but Kosorotov scored the final goal from 15m.
Despite their elimination, Russia’s future has a direction now, with Kosorotov leading the way. The Russian back scored 25 goals in the tournament in only four games and also has 10 assists. But it is the partnership with Dmitry Zhitnikov that really opens up the potential.
Zhitnikov, who is also Kosorotov’s team mate at Polish side Orlen Wisla Plock, shone once again, with seven goals and nine assists in this game. In fact, Zhitnikov is the player with the largest number of assists in the competition, 40, after six games.
It was a hard and tough game for both sides, we lost the victory under strange circumstances with the last Russian goal. The draw is a fair result for both sides. The most important thing for me was that we came back from the hard times in the last two games.
It is hard to summarise it in few words, it was a very tough game on a very high level of energy. But finally this team showed more character than any Russian national team did in the last years. I am very proud.