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14.06.2014, 10:10
Six teams vie for three remaining tickets
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ROUND PREVIEW 2: By Saturday afternoon 13 of 16 spots for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 will be confirmed. The final qualification matches on Sunday will then bring along three direct duels for the three places left.
 

Six teams vie for three remaining tickets

Serbia vs. Slovenia, Romania vs. Belarus, Ukraine vs. Austria: These six teams are the last to vie for qualification for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 and only three of them will eventually book their tickets on Sunday, the last day of the tournament’s qualification campaign.

The draw event for the EHF EURO 2014 will be held in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, on Thursday, 13:00 hrs. local time, streamed live on www.ehf-euro.com.

All matches can be followed with the EHF live ticker. ehfTV streams Iceland vs. Slovakia and Serbia vs. Slovenia live.

Group 1: Denmark vs. Lithuania
Sunday, 16:00 hrs. local time in Roskilde

Denmark are the clear favourites in this game. They are already confirmed as first ranked team in Group 1, Lithuania will finish fourth.

Anything but a Danish win would be a surprise.

Group 1 : Ukraine vs. Austria
Sunday, 20:20 hrs. local time in Michalovce

The last of 72 qualification matches will decide who the second EHF EURO participant from Group 1 becomes.

The situation is clear: Austria are two points ahead of Ukraine who have to play this home match on neutral court in Michalovce, Slovakia because of the political situation in Ukraine.

Austria won the first leg 34:28, so they can afford to even lose by five goals and still qualify for the final tournament.

But despite this seemingly calming advantage, Austria have to remain cautious: Their neighbours, Germany, were taught a hard lesson by Ukraine at the EHF EURO 2010.

Ukraine had to win by at least eight goals and eventually did so, beating Germany 33:23.

Ukraine have never missed a Women’s EHF EURO event so far, while Austria’s last participation dates back to 2008.

Group 2: Iceland vs. Slovakia (live on ehfTV.com)
Sunday, 15:00 hrs. local time in Reykjavik

This was expected to become a decisive match for yet another EHF EURO ticket, but since Slovakia took a sensational draw against France on Wednesday, everything is decided in this group.

After two consecutive EHF EURO participations Iceland will miss the tournament, while Slovakia clinched their first berth at a major women’s event in 20 years.

Group 2 : France vs. Finland
Sunday, 17:00 hrs. local time in Mouilleron Le Captif

France are already confirmed winners of Group 2 and Finland will finish fourth ranked no matter this match’s final result.

Despite the fact that France are already qualified for the EHF EURO 2014, it seems unlikely that they let this game slip from their hands to grant Finland their first point or points in this qualification.

Group 3: Montenegro vs. Portugal
Sunday, 20:00 hrs. local time in Niksic

Five wins in five matches - defending EHF EURO champions Montenegro have impressed so far in this qualification campaign.

Portugal, on the other hand, conceded five defeats and still wait for their first point ahead of this duel against one of Europe’s top teams.

Group 4: Netherlands vs. Turkey
Sunday, 14:00 hrs. local time in Rotterdam

If Spain win their duel against Italy on Saturday, this match will have no impact on the final ranking in Group 4: Spain would be first, ahead of Netherlands, Turkey and Italy.

However, if Spain let one or even two points slip from their hands, Netherlands have the chance to come first in Group 4 provided they beat Turkey.

Group 5: Sweden vs. Switzerland
Sunday, 13:00 hrs. local time in Gothenburg

After having secured their spot at the final tournament already on Wednesday, a draw against Switzerland is enough for Sweden to stay on top of Group 5.

Even an – albeit unexpected – defeat against Switzerland might have no effect on their position at the top – but this depends on final result in the match Serbia vs. Slovenia.

Group 5: Serbia vs. Slovenia (live on ehfTV.com)
Sunday, 20:00 hrs. local time in Nis

Another ‘clash of the clashes’ in Group 5: Thanks to their victory against Switzerland and Slovenia’s defeat against Sweden, Serbia are back on track towards the EHF EURO 2014.

Currently they are level on six points with Slovenia, who won the first leg 31:26.

Courtesy of the Round 5 results, Serbia do not need to erase a five-goal deficit anymore, but ‘only’ need to win in order to qualify

On the other hand a draw is already enough for Slovenia to leave the World Championship 2013 finalists behind them and take the tickets to the EHF EURO 2014 themselves.

Group 6: Romania vs. Belarus
Sunday, 18:30 hrs. local time in Baia Mare

Romania have the odds in their favour in this duel after they won the first leg in Mogilev on Wednesday 30:28.

So the hosts can afford to lose by a one goal or even lose by two, if Belarus score less than 30 goals themselves.

But on home ground, Romania are the clear favourites to take the second win as well and finish second behind Norway in this group.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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