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29.07.2018, 08:50
France to meet Slovenia in Men's 20 EHF EURO final
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SEMI-FINAL REVIEW: Host nation Slovenia come from behind and beat Portugal to book their place in the Men's 20 EHF EURO final in Celje, where they will play France, who beat Germany
 

France to meet Slovenia in Men's 20 EHF EURO final

Host nation Slovenia turned around a one-goal half-time deficit against the strong and impressive Portuguese to ensure the 3,000+ spectators in the Zlatorog Hall in Celje went home happy knowing their nation would be in the final on Sunday. In that grand finale, France will be their opponents after they defeated Germany in their semi-final.

Semi-Finals
The first semi-final saw Johann Delatrre's France beat Germany 28:26 with a solid team performance featuring eight different scorers. After the win, the French could relax as they waited to see who their opponents would be in the final on Sunday as Portugal took on the hosts Slovenia in the evening game.

The strong Portuguese side, boasting tournament top-scorer Diogo Silva were too strong in the first half as they took at 15:14 lead, but the Slovenians, buoyed on by a loud and passionate home crowd, came back strong to lead by two in the 55th minute.

As the Portuguese line created a gap in the Slovenia defence with just under three minutes left Luis Frade managed to squeeze through, but under pressure from a tough Slovenian defence his shot was not full force and goalkeeper Mark Ferjan pushed it wide as the home side eased through the final few minutes to set up the date with the French, taking the game 27:25.

Cross Matches 5-8
A four-goal win for Croatia against Iceland (37:21) saw Ivan Martinovic score eight times for the Croats, who had Adrijan Milicevic shown a direct red card as the game entered its last 10 minutes. In the other match of the disappointed teams who just missed on a potential medal, Spain beat Serbia 27:24 despite Nikola Ivanovic scoring nine times for the Serbs.

Cross Matches 9-12
Norway were always in control against Hungary in their 29:23 victory, while Sweden beat Denmark 33:30 in a highly-charged match which saw great celebrations from the Swedes at the final buzzer.

The results meant that Sweden and Norway have secured the direct qualification to the Men's 21 World Championship 2019, while Denmark and Hungary will fight for the last remaining ticket on Saturday.

Cross Matches 13-16
Israel easily beat Russia (26:19) to ensure that they still remain without a win in Slovenia, while Poland let a three-goal half-time lead (14:11) slip against Romania to lose by one, 32:31 as best player of the match Calin Mihai Cabut scored 12 goals for the Romanians to clinch the comeback win.

Top scorers
Portugal's Diogo Silva is still ahead of Slovenia's Grega Ocvirk in the top scorer battle in Celje, on 50 goals, four ahead of Ocvirk on 46 goals. Dominik Mathe is third with 45 strikes.

9-16 to be decided tomorrow
Saturday 28 July will see the final matches of the 9-16 Placement Round with Russia, Poland, Israel, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Norway and Sweden all in action.

RESULTS – DAY SIX
Thursday 27 July

Semi-Finals
Germany vs France 26:28 (11:15)
Portugal vs Slovenia 25:27 (15:14)

Cross Matches 5-8
Iceland vs Croatia 27:31 (16:17)
Spain vs Serbia 27:24 (14:10)

Cross Matches 9-12
Norway vs Hungary 29:23 (12:8)
Denmark vs Sweden 30:33 (17:18)

Cross Matches 13-16
Israel vs Russia 26:19 (12:10)
Poland vs Romania 31:32 (3:4) (28:28) (14:11)

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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