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18.08.2014, 12:36
Race to the main round goes down to the wire
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NEWS REPORT: All four groups had deciding matches in the final preliminary round day at the Men’s 18 EHF EURO in Poland
 

Race to the main round goes down to the wire

Home team Poland was the eighth and final team to guarantee themselves a place in the main round at the Men’s 18 EHF EURO, after they beat Czech Republic 27:20 in the last game on Sunday evening.

With Group D winners Germany accounting for Belarus with a 20-goal win, Poland’s players knew they had their fate in their own hands and made no mistake, with Maciej Skibinski’s seven goals leading the way against the brave Czech team.

It was a similar situation in Group B, where Spain sealed top spot with a 25:22 win over Russia, meaning that Denmark would join them in the main round with a win over FYR Macedonia in the final game.

Not only did the Danes get the victory, but they did it in impressive fashion, with all 14 court players finding the net in a 38:20 win.

France and Croatia squared off for second place in Group C, with both sides level on two points going into the game. However, the game was over as a contest early into the second half, as France built heavily upon their six-goal half-time lead on the way to a 41:25 win.

The victory brings the French side into the main round behind Hungary, who progress from the preliminary round as highest scorers after a 43:30 win over Romania.

Sweden top Group A thanks to a 28:21 win over Serbia, inspired by Anton Hallbäck’s nine goals, a result which left Switzerland and Iceland to play for the other main round place from arguably the tournament’s most closely fought group.

Switzerland’s player of the game Dennis Grana and his heroics in goal restricted Iceland to nine goals in the first half, allowing the Swiss to hold a healthy five-goal advantage.

However, that advantage was narrowed greatly in the second period and the Swiss were made to sweat, as they held on for a 24:22 win and a place in the main round, which after a day’s rest will begin on Tuesday, while Iceland and the other third and fourth placed teams contest the intermediate round.

Live steaming and tournament information

The Men’s 18 EHF EURO takes place in the Polish cities of Gdynia and Gdansk from 14 to 24 August 2014. All matches will be streamed live on the official website. Further information can be found on the site and the event's Facebook page.

During the tournament eurohandball.com and the EHF EURO Facebook page will also feature regular reports, features and photo galleries.

Austria hosted the Men’s 18 EHF EURO 2012. Back then Germany won, Sweden came second and Denmark placed third.


TEXT: EHF / cor
 
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