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13.08.2016, 00:37
Six main round spots already confirmed at Croatia 2016
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REVIEW: Eight teams had the chance to qualify for the main round at the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2016 in Croatia and six eventually used it, as the championship's second day came to a close on Friday
 

Six main round spots already confirmed at Croatia 2016

The second day at the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2016 in Croatia has decided quite a few things as six teams already qualified for the main round.

France, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany and Serbia can start planning for the tournament's next phase, while it is only in Group C in which a decision still awaits, as Croatia, Sweden and Iceland still have the chance to proceed.

However, the final day of the preliminary round on Sunday - Saturday is a rest day - is far from being pointless, as this day will decide which teams take valuable points with them to the main round as well as to the intermediate round, the stage at which the teams ranked third and fourth in the preliminary round meet.

All games are streamed live on the Croatian federation's Youtube channel.

Germany lead Group D in confident fashion

In Group A, Spain made it to the next phase courtesy of a 29:25 win against Switzerland, while France qualified for the main round with a 31:24 win against Norway - and they had some very prominent handball people in the crowd as the great Ivano Balic (photo below) was watching.

In Group B, Denmark and Slovenia had won their respective first match on Thursday and with their second consecutive win they qualified for the main round. Denmark beat Slovakia 21:17 and Slovenia had the upper hand against Russia, 33:27.

In Group D, Germany recorded another convincing win. After they had beaten Portugal 34:19 on Thursday, they won 34:22 against Poland to proceed to the main round. Serbia followed suit with a hard-fought 33:32 win against Portugal.

In Group C, Iceland became the only team to win on Friday after they had lost on Thursday. Following their 34:29 loss to Croatia on Thursday, they beat Sweden 32:29 to claim their first two points at the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2016.

Croatia then edged very close to the main round with a 25:19 win against Czech Republic. However, they still need at least one point from their match against Sweden on Sunday to secure their main round berth. In Sunday's second game in Group C Iceland play against Czech Republic.

The first two teams of each group qualify for the main round with a chance to reach the semi-finals; the teams ranked third and fourth in each group will play the intermediate round and eventually the placement matches for ranks 9 to 16.

Premiere for the EHF

For the European Handball Federation it is the first tournament that is played since a new system for the younger age categories was introduced.

This means that at the end of the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2016 the three lowest ranked teams will be downgraded to the Men's 20 EHF Championships 2018, while the three winners of the Men's 18 EHF Championships in Georgia, Lithuania and Bulgaria (all 15 to 21 August) will be promoted to the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2018.

Matchdays for the main round are 16 and 17 August. The semi-finals are played on 19 August, the final will take place on 21 August.

In the preliminary round matches throw off at 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00 hrs local time for Groups A and B in Zagreb. Groups C and D play at 13:30, 15:30, 17:30 and 19:30 hrs local time in Koprivnica.

For more information also see the event's official website.

In the history of Men's 18 EHF EURO events since 1992, Croatia and Germany are the two most successful nations. They both have won two gold and one silver medal. In this ranking Spain are third with one gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

At the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2014 in Poland, France came first ahead of Hungary and Spain.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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