20210426 EHF EURO Qualifier Israel Lithuania Adir Cohen 2000

Confident win sees Israel take first points

EHF / Courtney Gahan

Israel clinched their first points of the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers with a 34:28 victory against Lithuania that started a big week of action on Monday night.

Less than one week from now, the 18 remaining places at the final tournament in Hungary and Slovakia will be filled — and Israel could be among them following the confident win in the tight group.

Israel vs Lithuania 34:28 (15:11)

  • Israel created their first lead of more than one goal in the 12th minute and only tightened their hold on the game from there. Their clearest advantage stood at seven goals, recorded multiple times in the second half
  • the home side were without top star and most experienced player, Chen Pomeranz, yet still managed a strong showing to take the win
  • Israel’s goalkeepers combined for nine saves at a rate of 45 per cent in the opening half, playing a big role in establishing the hosts’ advantage. The final tally was 15 saves
  • Lithuania never challenged Israel’s lead. When the last five minutes began, the hosts were sure of victory with the score at 31:24
  • Lithuania had won the reverse fixture against Israel by three goals, earning their only two points of the qualifiers with that victory. Monday’s win brings Israel level with their opponents on two points

Chances to end long waits

Both teams in Monday’s match are hoping to return to the final EHF EURO tournament for the first time in many years, with Israel having contested their first and only EURO in 2002 while Lithuania’s one participation was in 1998.

With five matches remaining in the group, all teams with points in their account and just four points between frontrunners Portugal and last-placed Lithuania and Israel, everything is open.

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