Third win puts Netherlands through to EHF EURO 2022
The Netherlands have secured their second ever EHF EURO participation after 2020, but as in the first leg on home ground (27:26), head coach Erlingur Richardsson’s team had a tough nut to crack in Turkey - at least for about 50 minutes.
Although the Turkish side had already failed on their way to the EHF EURO 2022, they fought bravely in their last home match of this qualification round.
Turkey vs Netherlands 24:32 (12:15)
- the visitors easily pulled ahead to 7:2 and 12:6, before the Turkish side managed to reduce the gap to six goals at the break
- in the second half, both sides were on a fully equal level, but Turkey missed several chances to level the result or take the lead
- finally, the Netherlands decided the match with a 4:0 run from 22:21 to 26:21, when the hosts did not score a goal for five minutes
- as in the 22:30 defeat against Slovenia on Tuesday, Görkem Bicer was Turkey’s top scorer with five goals; in total, Alec Smit was the best scorer with six strikes
- even if Poland lose on Thursday, the Dutch are already qualified for the EHF EURO prior to the duel with Poland on Sunday
The Dutch way is up
By looking at the results of the previous EHF EURO qualifications, the development of Dutch men’s handball is clear.
On the road to the EHF EURO 2012, they picked up just one point from six matches. In the EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers they earned two points, then doubled that tally in the following two qualification tournaments.
In the EHF EURO 2020 qualifiers six points was enough to give them a ticket to the final tournament, so seven points from five matches on the road to the EHF EURO 2022, with one qualifying match to go, is their best-ever result. They are guaranteed a place at the final tournament whatever Sunday's result, as either the second or third-ranked team in the group