20211010 AUT ROU8
EHF EURO

The qualification race resumes

EHF / Björn Pazen

With nine matches around Europe, qualification for the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 resumes on Wednesday and Thursday. In each group, at least one team has four points on their account after the first two rounds played in October 2021, while two groups have two sides with a perfect start. Rounds 3 and 4 include the same pairings as double-headers.

With a view on the war situation in Ukraine and with reference to the recent recommendations of the International Olympic Committee, the Executive Committee of the European Handball Federation has called off three double-headers: Poland vs Russia in group 1, Belarus vs Greece in group 3 and Czech Republic vs Ukraine in group 4. More information can be read here.

The EHF EURO Cup also continues with two double-headers, including the top duels of both unbeaten sides Montenegro and Norway. The Women’s EHF EURO 2022 will be organised in Slovenia, Montenegro and North Macedonia in November. The six group winners and runners-up qualify for the final tournament, alongside the three host nations and reigning champions Norway.

GROUP 1

Lithuania vs Switzerland
Thursday 3 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both sides have zero points on their account, as both lost their matches against Poland and Russia
  • Lithuania’s results were clearer, as they lost both matches by 14 goals each, Switzerland showed a strong performance at the 26:22 in Russia, then were defeated 31:22 by Poland
  • Lithuania have won three of four previous duels against Switzerland, the Swiss side have won only the last encounter in 2018
  • While Switzerland had never been part of an EHF EURO final tournament, Lithuania have qualified once, in 1996

GROUP 2

Romania vs Denmark
Wednesday 2 March, 17:05 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Denmark won both matches in October and top the group with four points, while Romania have three points after the draw against Austria
  • if Denmark win both duels against Romania, they would already book their EHF EURO 2022 ticket
  • though both sides face for the 21st time in official matches, this duel is the first one in a qualification phase
  • Denmark took the bronze medal at Spain 2021, by beating the hosts one year after losing the bronze final at the EHF EURO on home court against Croatia

Faroe Islands vs Austria
Wednesday 2 March, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Austria have one point on their account, Faroe Islands lost both encounters against Romania and Denmark
  • Faroe Islands have qualified for this round for the third time - after eliminating Finland and Israel in qualification phase 1
  • the only previous duel of both sides was in 2016, when Austria won 29:20 at Torshavn in World Championship qualification
  • since 2008, Austria wait for their ninth qualification for an EHF EURO final tournament, their best result was the bronze medal in 1996
  • despite being hit hard by Covid, Austria took 16th place at the World Championship 2021

GROUP 3

Germany vs Netherlands
Thursday 3 March, 18:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Netherlands just announced their new coach, Swede Per Johansson, for whom this match is his debut on the Dutch bench
  • Germany’s Dutch-born head coach Henk Groener was the coach of the Netherlands until 2016
  • for Groener it is the seventh match against his former team since March 2018, the balance is equal by three wins each - the last EHF EURO duel was in 2020, a 28:27 win for the Netherlands
  • in total - including test matches - Germany and Netherlands faced 73 times so far, Germany won 55 times, Netherlands 14 times
  • Netherlands took two clear victories against Greece and Belarus in the first two matches, while Germany stumbled by a draw on home ground against Belarus after a big win against Greece

GROUP 4

Croatia vs France
Thursday 3 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • France have a maximum of four points after beating Czech Republic and Ukraine, Croatia are under a certain pressure after their home defeat against Ukraine, but then won at the Czech Republic
  • the sides duelled in the EHF EURO 2020 semi-final, when France took a clear 30:19 victory
  • France were runners-up in 2020, won the gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics and the silver medal at the World Championship 2021
  • after winning the bronze medal at the EHF EURO 2020, Croatia finished 18th at Spain 2021
  • in total, France and Croatia faced nine times in official duels, France won six games, Croatia two, one game ended in a tie

GROUP 5

Hungary vs Spain
Wednesday 2 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both sides top the ranking equally on four points having beaten Portugal and Slovakia in October
  • Spain had been EHF EURO finalists in 2008 and 2014, Hungary won the trophy in 2000 and won three bronze medals (1998, 2004, 2012)
  • while Spain finished fourth at the World Championship on home ground, Hungary ranked tenth
  • at EHF EURO 2020, Spain finished ninth, one position ahead of the Hungarians
  • both teams changed their coaches in 2021: Vlagymir Golovin is new at Hungary, Jose Ignacio Prades at Spain

Portugal vs Slovakia
Thursday 3 March, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Portugal and Slovakia have lost both matches against Hungary and Spain and are on the bottom of the ranking on zero points
  • Slovakia had qualified twice for EHF EURO final tournaments, in 1996 and 2014, while Portugal reached it once in 2008
  • the Slovaks were the lowest-ranked European team at the 2021 World Championship in position 26, while Portugal did not qualify after losing the play-offs against Germany
  • both sides faced only twice in official matches and both encounters, in 2005 and 2007, ended in a draw
  • Portugal were the winners of tournament 1 in the first qualification phase, beating Kosovo, Luxembourg and Cyprus

GROUP 6

Turkey vs Iceland

Wednesday 2 March, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • It is the first duel between the sides in an official match
  • Iceland took a sensational 23:21 victory against Serbia in round 2 and are the favourites against Turkey
  • while Iceland had qualified twice for EHF EURO final tournaments in 2020 and 2012, Turkey still wait for their first participation
  • Turkey only took two victories in total in the last three EHF EURO qualifications for 2016, 2018 and 2020

Serbia vs Sweden

Thursday 3 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Sweden are on four points after beating Iceland and Turkey, while Serbia had stumbled after the 36:27 win against Turkey and a loss in Iceland
  • both sides had been part of the World Championship 2021, Sweden ranked fifth in the end, Serbia twelfth
  • Serbia have played all eight EHF EURO final tournaments since 2006, their best result was the fourth rank on home ground in 2012
  • Sweden were part of 12 tournaments, including silver in 2010 and bronze in 2014
  • the first four of by now seven official matches between the sides ended in draws, twice Sweden won and Serbia scored a single victory

EHF EURO Cup

Montenegro vs Norway

Wednesday 2 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Norway started the EHF EURO cup with two victories against Slovenia, while Montenegro beat their neighbours North Macedonia twice
  • since then, Norway won the World Championship in Spain by beating France in a thrilling final
  • Montenegro had their worst result in Spain, finishing 22nd
  • this duel was twice a final in 2012 - first, Norway took the gold medal at the London Olympic, then Montenegro struck back and won their first and so far only EHF EURO trophy in Belgrade
  • Norway are defending champions and EHF EURO record winners with eight trophies, while Montenegro have not won a medal since 2012

Slovenia vs North Macedonia

Thursday 3 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both sides lost both matches in October and are on zero points each
  • Slovenia ranked 17th at the World Championship, while North Macedonia did not qualify
  • North Macedonia played at five EHF EURO final tournaments, the latest in 2012, while Slovenia was part of seven final tournaments
  • Slovenia count on Ana Gros, the EHF Champions League top scorer of the 2020/21 season as their leading light

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