Australia took their first two points of the IHF Emerging Nations Championship with a decisive victory over Armenia on Monday.
Australia vs Armenia 61:20 (28:9)
Australia had a mission to score as many goals as possible on Monday, as the team could still qualify for the second phase if Kosovo beat Faroe Islands in the second match of the evening.
Coach Jan Ottosen approached the game with this in mind:
“The game was a good opportunity to get a win, which the players deserved. We played a game that involved a lot of speed as we were trying to score as many goals as possible.”
Australia’s fast play earned them a lead of almost 20 goals by half-time, which they continued to increase in the second half.
The clear advantage meant younger members of the squad were given the chance to gain some valuable experience. Canberra’s Luke Behrendorff made a stylish debut in his first match on court for the senior team, contributing eight goals to Australia’s tally.
“Today was an opportunity for the younger members of the team to get some quality game time, as well as be able to run through plays which will be put to use later in the tournament.
It was a great experience getting my first international goal, and a memory I will not forget. It was also quite a thrill to be able to sing the team song for the first time,” said Daniel Fogerty, who is also debuting in the senior squad in Kosovo.
Another Kosovo debutant, Tomasz Szklarski, was the top scorer for the match with a huge 17 goals.
But Ottosen was most happy with the team as a whole:
“I was proud of the way the boys played, showing respect to the other team, but ultimately winning a game for Australia was a good feeling,” he concluded.
Australia now play the placement match round in Gjakova, beginning on Wednesday against Albania.