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18.08.2016, 11:00
The semis at Croatia 2016: Germany vs France, Croatia vs Slovenia
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REVIEW: The main round came down to the wire at the Men's 18 EHF EURO on Wednesday, with eventually only goals not even points separating some of the teams
 

The semis at Croatia 2016: Germany vs France, Croatia vs Slovenia

It was a very close race for the semi-final spots at the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2016 in Croatia as the main round concluded on Wednesday.

Eventually Germany, France, Croatia and Slovenia made it and will meet in the semi-finals on Friday, but in particular in Group M1 the decision could not have been any closer.

Important decisions were also made in the intermediate round. With Switzerland,Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic finishing third and fourth respectively in their groups, it is clear that only one will be able to avoid relegation. 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.

Both semi-finals and all cross matches will take place on Friday and all are streamed live on the Croatian federation's Youtube channel.

In Wednesday's first main round game Denmark beat France 32:28 (19:16) and both teams ended the main round on four points with Slovenia yet to face Spain.

France were through to the semi-finals no matter the next result, but Denmark needed to hope for at least a Spanish draw. For 58 minutes it looked as if things were going their way as Spain led 23:24 with two minutes left to play.

However, Slovenia pulled themselves together one last time, scored the final two goals of the game to win 25:24 (12:12) and secure the semi-final spot. Denmark finished third in the group and will play for places 5 to 8.

“We knew that the match was going to be tough, we knew that we needed to play our hearts out and the boys did exactly that. We reached the semi-final and now we will see what will happen," said Slovenia's coach Janez Klemenčić.

In Group M2 Germany did their part to reach the semis when they beat Iceland 35:20 (15:9). Serbia then needed a win against Croatia, but the hosts eventually won 35:29 (17:15) to set up a semi-final against Slovenia while Germany face France.

Premiere for the EHF

For the European Handball Federation the Men's 18 EHF EURO 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 GeorgiaLithuania and Bulgaria will be promoted to the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2018.

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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