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30.05.2012, 09:15
Decisive duels on the way to the Netherlands
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Round 5 of the EHF EURO qualifications will provide the next names for the prestigious tournament.
 

Decisive duels on the way to the Netherlands

Five teams have already qualified for the Women´s EHF EURO 2012 in Netherlands; reigning champions Norway and hosts Netherlands, whilst Croatia, Czech Republic and Sweden have already qualified from their groups, the Croats with a 100% record of four wins from four in their qualification matches so far.

Most of the vital games are being shown live on TV, click HERE for the latest listings.

Fixtures
(All times local)

Round 5, 30/31 May 2012

Group 1

Azerbaijan vs. Hungary (Wednesday, 17:00 hrs)
Belarus vs. Germany (Wednesday, 19:00 hrs)

Germany (six points) and Hungary (six points) are in the best position for EHF EURO 2012 qualification - and by winning on the road both would qualify for the Netherlands on Wednesday. Azerbaijan (zero points) are out of the qualification race already, but Belarus (four points) still have hopes of making it, but will need to beat both Germany and Hungary to stand a mathematical chance.

Group 2

Greece vs. Serbia (Wednesday, 18:00 hrs)
Portugal vs. Romania (Wednesday, 20:15 hrs)

The starting situation is similar to that of Group 1. Romania (six points) and Serbia (six points) are in the best position for EHF EURO 2012 qualification, and by winning on the road, both would qualify for the Netherlands on Wednesday. Greece (zero points) are out of the qualification race already, but Portugal (four points) still have hopes of making it, but will need to beat both Romania and Serbia to stand a mathematical chance.

Group 3

Poland vs. Russia, (Wednesday, 18:00 hrs)
Great Britain vs. Montenegro (Wednesday, 19:00 hrs)

Exactly the same situation as in Group 1 and 2 with both group favourites, Montenegro and Russia, leading the group with six points after four rounds.  By winning their away matches, both would earn an EHF EURO berth on Wednesday. Great Britain (zero points) are out of the qualification race already, but will collect valuable experience ahead of their Olympic Game participation in the native country. Poland (four points) will need to win against both of their rivals Montenegro and Russia to have a chance in possible direct encounters with all three teams finishing on eight points.

Group 4

Turkey vs. France, (Wednesday,19:00 hrs)
Lithuania vs. FYR Macedonia, (Wednesday, 19:00 hrs)

This is the only group where mathematically each national team could still qualify for the EHF EURO 2012 in December. 

Bottom team Lithuania (two points) would need two victories and their qualification would depend on other results in the group.

Most likely, group leader France (six points), who earned an Olympic Games berth last weekend in Lyon, will go through as group winner. 

If favourites France and FYR Macedonia would win their Round 5 games, the last round clash between FYR Macedonia and Turkey would decide about the second team advancing to the EHF EURO.

There, Turkey won the direct encounter by eight goals (36:28), but after FYR Macedonia's surprising victory against France, the Turks would need another victory to progress to the prestigious tournament in December. Still, Turkey will aim to surprise France in today's clash in Antalya...

Group 5

Czech Republic vs. Austria, (Wednesday, 18:00 hrs)
Slovenia vs. Sweden, (Thursday, 18:00 hrs)

Nothing at stake in Group 5, as both Czech Republic and Sweden have already progressed after four rounds to the EHF EURO in Netherlands. For both Austria and Slovenia the games will provide a chance to find suitable formations and players for the next qualification tournament in 2012/2013.

Group 6

Slovakia vs. Denmark, (Wednesday, 18:00 hrs)
Italy vs. Croatia, (Wednesday, 18:00 hrs)

The Croatians have already booked their ticket for EHF EURO with four straight victories and a 100% record.

Fighting for the final place behind them are Denmark and Slovakia who each have four points, but if the Danes win on Wednesday they are through to the Netherlands, as their victory against Slovakia in their first match (36:24), will count towards their position.

To qualify for EHF EURO 2012 the Slovaks need to beat Denmark by a margin of more than 12 goals, as the Danes are favoured against Italy (0 points) and Croatia are almost unbeatable on home soil.

Group 7

Iceland vs. Spain, (Wednesday, 19:30 hrs)
Switzerland vs. Ukraine, (Thursday, 19:30 hrs)

After four rounds both Spain and Ukraine are ahead in the group with six points each, strongly followed by Iceland with four points. Switzerland are in last place with zero points.

It`s expected that both group leaders will beat the Swiss team in their encounters, so Iceland will need two victories, on home soil against Spain, and away in Ukraine, to finish with the same amount of points as their main rivals. Then goal difference would decide matters between the three teams.

Spain defeated Iceland by 27:22, then lost on home soil against Ukraine in a tight clash by 27:28, but in Round 3 they defeated the East Europeans in a hot away match by 23:22.

Follow the exciting and decisive matches live in front of your TV. See where you can watch the games HERE.

Further Information

Find more information on the Women's EHF EURO 2012 Qualification HERE.

View more detailed information on the event on the Official EHF EURO 2012 Website.
http://www.facebook.com/EHFEUROWomen


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs
 
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