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03.08.2016, 09:40
Race for semi-final spots gets hotter than expected
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REVIEW: After the first main round match day at the Men's 20 EHF EURO in Denmark has come to an end, there are still seven teams left who can reach the semi-finals
 

Race for semi-final spots gets hotter than expected

The Men's 20 EHF EURO could not have asked for a more exciting finish to its main round.

After the first round of main round matches were played on Tuesday, all decisions about the four semi-final spots have been postponed and will only be made on Wednesday.

In Group M1, France, Iceland and Spain still have a chance to reach the first knockout stage. Live streams for all matches are accessible via http://livestream.com/m20euro.

It was Spain who sprung one of the first major surprises at this tournament when they beat France, the winners of the Men's 18 EHF EURO and the Youth World Championship 2015, 27:21 (16:11) on Tuesday.

Led by top scorer Dani Dujshebaev with seven goals, Spain had already carved out a five-goal lead at half-time and finished the game in style in the second.

Spain meet Poland, the only team in this main round without a chance to reach the semis, at 16:00 hrs on Wednesday. France play Iceland, who beat Poland 36:24 on Tuesday, already at 14:00 hrs and depending on the eventual result, the final ranking in Group M1 will be known.

If Iceland win, Spain and Iceland are the two semi-finalists. If they drew, it is the same because Spain have won the direct encouter against France.

If France win, they reach the semis and Iceland have to hope for a Spanish loss against Poland that eventually sees them ranking above Spain in terms of overall goal difference. The preliminary round match between Iceland and Spain ended in a 28:28 draw which turns "the superior goal difference from all group matches" into the decisive factor to determine the ranking.

All teams still in the race in Group M2

In Group M2, tournament hosts Denmark kept their medal hopes alive with a 27:26 (12:12) win against Germany, and with Croatia beating Norway 35:27 (16:12) all teams have two points on their tally.

The final ranking of this group will only be known late on Wednesday night. First up are Norway and Germany at 18:00 hrs; then Croatia face Denmark at 20:00 hrs.

The semi-finals between the first two teams of Groups M1 and M2 take place on Friday at 18:00 hrs and 20:30 hrs. The final is scheduled for 17:00 hrs on Sunday.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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