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26.07.2018, 09:40
Hosts Slovenia join Germany, France and Portugal in semi-finals
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DAY 5 REVIEW: The third day of the Men’s 20 EHF EURO Main Round in Slovenia saw semi-final teams and cross matches for 5-16 place confirmed.
 

Hosts Slovenia join Germany, France and Portugal in semi-finals

The main round in Slovenia finished yesterday with France grabbing a crucial win, along with hosts Slovenia to book their semi-final tickets. Portugal were already guaranteed a semi-final spot ahead of their loss against Croatia, while Germany impress by topping their group and booking the last final four spot.

Today (26 July) is a rest day, before the 5-16 cross matches and semi-finals get underway tomorrow (Friday 27 July).

Main Round – Group 1
In group 1 Germany clinched the group, and a semi-final spot with a 32:20 win over the Serbians, while host nation Slovenia ensured their place in the last four with a four-goal win over Iceland (25:21) in front of over 2,000 spectators inside the Dvorana Zlatorog.

Again, Grega Ocvirk top-scored for the host nation, but this time he was joined by teammate Kristjan Horzen as they both sunk home five times.


The Germans had taken a two-goal half-time lead against Serbia (14:12), but they outscored their opponents by 10 in the second half to clinch a comprehensive 12-goal victory (32:20) as Serbia capitulated in defence and allowed strikes from 10 different Germans.

Main Round – Group 2
Portugal finally lost a match in Slovenia, after Croatia beat them by seven (30:23), but with their top spot in the group already confirmed before the day had started, they could afford to make changes and rest players, although it was no surprise to see Diogo Silva top-score, with eight this time. After leading by six at the break, the second half was a tighter affair, but the Croatians did enough to stay in front.

In their semi-final play-off, France came out on top in a high-scoring game to take the second spot and send Spain into the 5-8 placement round. A best player of the match performance from Elohim Prandi, with seven goals outshone the impressive Ian Tarrafeta Serrano’s nine goals for Spain.

All of this means that Germany will play France in the first semi-final, while Slovenia face the tough task of taking on Portugal in the second semi-final. Iceland, Croatia, Spain and Serbia will compete in the 5-8 cross matches.

Intermediate Round – Group 1
Norway’s goalkeeper Robin Haug Paulsen put in a best player performance for the second match in a row as Norway beat Sweden 23:16, thanks mainly to their defence who restricted the Swedes to just six second half goals, although Vetle Roennigen’s seven goals helped at the other end for Norway.

Adir Cohen struck 11 times in an impressive best player performance for Israel against Romania.

These results meant that Norway, Sweden and Israel all finished on four points, but the Scandinavian sides took the top two spots due to their head-to-head records. Israel finished in third and Romania finished bottom, with zero points.

Intermediate Round – Group 2
Poland nearly recovered from a four-goal half-time deficit against Hungary but could not claw it back by the end of the game, losing by two, 31:29. Zltan Szita’s seven goals earned him the best player award for Hungary, although teammate Dominik Mathe’s 11 were also integral to the Hungarian win.

Denmark finished top of the group with six points, after beating Russia 30:25, and they lie ahead of Hungary in second with four points. Poland finished in third with two points and Russia rock-bottom, having not won a game in Slovenia yet.

Israel, Russia, Poland and Romania will now play-off in the 13-16 Cross Matches, while Norway, Hungary, Denmark and Sweden will compete for 9-12 place.

Top scorers
Diogo Silva moved ahead of Grega Ocvirk in the top scorer battle in Celje, with Portugal’s Silva now on 44 goals and Slovenia’s Ocvirk on 40 goals.

Before all games in Slovenia yesterday there was a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the fires in Attica, Greece.

RESULTS – DAY FIVE
Tuesday 25 July

Main Round – Group 1
Serbia vs Germany 20:32 (12:14)
Slovenia vs Iceland 25:21 (14:10)

Main Round – Group 2
France vs Spain 35:33 (19:15)
Portugal vs Croatia 23:30 (11:17)

Intermediate Round – Group 1
Norway vs Sweden 23:16 (12:10)
Israel vs Romania 30:22 (17:13)

Intermediate Round – Group 2
Hungary vs Poland 31:29 (15:11)

Path to the Men’s 21 World Championship 2019 explained

With the main round and the intermediate round commencing, the battle for the European spots at the Men’s 21 World Championship 2019 in Spain has also begun.

Besides Spain as organiser of the Men’s 21 World Championship, ten more teams from the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2018 in Slovenia will directly qualify for the 24-nation event. This means that all teams who have reached the main round (Germany, Slovenia, Iceland, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and France) are already qualified.

Additionally, the teams ranked 9 to 11 will also qualify directly, granting additional importance to the cross and placement matches which will be played on 27 and 28 July.

Follow the Men's 20 EHF EURO
Official website: https://www.m20ehfeuro.com/en/
Playing schedule: http://eurohandball.com/ech/00-01/20/men/2018/round/1/Final+Tournament
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mens20EHFEUROSlovenia/
ehfTV: https://www.ehftv.com/int/league/men-s-20-ehf-euro-2018/785

Photos: Slavko Kolar/Jurij Kodrun


TEXT: EHF/ ts
 
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