«may 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«jun 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«jul 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«aug 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«sep 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«oct 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«nov 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«dec 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«jan 2020»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«feb 2020»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728291
2345678
«mar 2020»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2425262728291
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«apr 2020»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaNorth MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

04.06.2019, 12:53
Everything to play for in three World Championship play-off ties
«Go back »Print Version


ROUND PREVIEW: While six double-headers look set in stone after dominant wins in the first leg, three World Championship berths are still very much up for grabs in the midweek second legs
 

Everything to play for in three World Championship play-off ties

After devastating defeats in the first leg, Poland, Switzerland, Belarus, Austria, Slovakia and Iceland are left with slim chances to progress to the Women’s World Championship 2019 in Japan, needing something close to a miracle in the second leg to turn the ties on their heads.

Therefore, Serbia, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, Sweden and Spain look set to join France, Russia, Netherlands and Romania, who are already through after finishing in the first four places at EHF EURO 2018.

Meanwhile, attention will move to the other three games that are still wide open. Germany drew in Croatia, 24:24, after failing to capitalize on a dominant second half, leaving them vulnerable. Montenegro hope to turn a two-goal deficit into an advantage with support from their raucous fans, while Slovenia start with a three-goal cushion ahead of North Macedonia at home.

Germany vs Croatia
Wednesday 5 June, 18:45 hrs local time
First leg result: 24:24

The game was touted to be one of the most balanced among the nine play-off ties in the play-offs and the first leg duly delivered, with the game ending in a tie, moving the balance slightly into Germany’s favour before the second leg in Hamm. If Croatia want to progress to the final tournament in Japan, they will have to replicate the defensive performance from the first game, when the German backs, besides Kim Naidzinavicius, were limited to a silent game. However, Germany had the upper hand in the second half, when they led by as many as four goals and must ride that momentum to progress to the World Championship.

Switzerland vs Denmark
Wednesday 5 June, 18:15 hrs local time
First leg result: 22:35

A slow start could not derail Denmark’s bid for a World Championships berth, as the Scandinavian side took advantage of Switzerland’s woes to earn a 35:22 win in the first leg. Only a massive upset, could see Denmark lose it from here, as Klavs Bruun Jorgensen’s side has the experience and the depth to control the second leg. The Swiss side never took part in the EHF EURO or the World Championships, while Denmark missed only one edition of the World Championships in the past 30 years.

Norway vs Belarus
Wednesday 5 June, 19:00 hrs local time
First leg result: 34:21

A 3:0 run to start the game ensured that Norway’s win was never in doubt in Belarus and no shock was on the cards, despite the hosts trying their utmost to surprise the Nordic powerhouse. A 13-goal win virtually sealed the deal for Norway, who took part in the Women’s World Championships in every edition since 1978. Right back Nora Mørk was back in the fold for the first time in a competitive international game after more than 530 days and she scored two goals in Norway’s win.

“I have been waiting a lot for this day, I am taking it slowly, but it feels amazing to play again for the national team,” said Mørk, who will also feature on Wednesday.

Montenegro vs Czech Republic
Wednesday 5 June, 20:15 hrs local time
First leg result: 24:26      

It was probably one of the most exciting double-headers in this play-off and the first game duly delivered, with the hosts taking an impressive win in the first leg. Now, the tie moves into Niksic, where Montenegro will definitely hold the advantage. If Montenegro want to proceed to the final tournament in Japan, they will need some fine tuning, especially in defence, where they lacked the usual grit. “I am happy that we are only two goals behind, because it could have been worse. The uncertainty in defence translated into attack, where we missed a few easy shots,” said Montenegrin left wing Majda Mehmedovic, who scored five times in the first leg.

Hungary vs Austria
Wednesday 5 June, 18:00 hrs local time
First leg result: 41:23

Austria surely wanted more from the first leg, but an underwhelming outing saw lose 41:23 at home against Hungary. With the Women’s World Championship berth in the bag, Kim Rasmussen’s side should be more relaxed in the second leg, which will take place in Zalaegerszeg on Wednesday. Without Aniko Kovacsics, who is nursing a groin injury, Hungary relied on several young players, including the maiden game for 20-year old left wing Greta Marton, who scored twice.

“I did not expect such a big gap, as the match was already decided in the first half. We had a very good day,” said Hungary’s coach, Kim Rasmussen, who will expect more of the same from his young side, brimming with confidence.

Slovakia vs Sweden
Thursday 6 June, 18:00 hrs local time
First leg result: 18:33

“It will be difficult for Slovakia to claw back this defeat,” said defender stalwart Sabina Jacobsen, after her team jumped to a 33:18 win against Slovakia on Sunday. Coach Henrik Signell had to improvise, as the Swedish team underwent a serious makeover, with Isabelle Gullden, Johanna Westberg, Jenny Alm and Louise Sand absent from the side that played in the EHF EURO 2018, but they side duly delivered. With their traditional strong defence and effective fast breaks, Sweden had no trouble of disposing of Slovakia, as goalkeeper Filippa Idehn had 15 saves in the first leg. Slovakia return on their home court this time, but with a mountain to climb.

Poland vs Serbia
Thursday 6 June, 18:00 hrs local time
First leg result: 19:33

As Serbia missed three key players in the build-up for the first leg against Poland, there were questions about their chances of progression. However, a motivated Serbian side began the double-header in style, claiming a 33:19 win which brought them closer to progressing. Surprises may happen in handball, wiping away a 14-goal deficit is not unprecedented, but the Polish side need a perfect game to turn the tie on its head.

“We tried to concede as few goals as possible, but we never thought about such a win. We need the same fighting spirit in the second half,” said Serbian coach Ljubomir Obradovic.

Slovenia vs North Macedonia
Thursday 6 June, 20:15 hrs local time
First leg result: 33:30

Backs Ana Gros and Tjasa Stanko combined for 12 goals in the first leg in Slovenia’s 33:30 win against North Macedonia and the Slovenian side will have to rely once again on them for goals in the second leg. The Slovenians are favourites to clinch their second World Championship berth in a row as the three-goal cushion will be hard to turn around by their opponents away from home. However, North Macedonia are renowned for their fighting spirit and will definitely do everything in their power. If they do turn things around, North Macedonia will be back in the competition for the first time since 2007.

Iceland vs Spain
Thursday 6 June, 19:45 hrs local time
First leg result: 26:35

The new iteration of the Spanish team needed another vintage performance from playmaker Nerea Pena in the first leg, as the FTC’s player 12 goals proved to be the difference as Spain are riding a nine-goal advantage in the second leg. It was a great defensive effort in the first half that propelled Spain to this advantage and Iceland will need something special if they are to earn their second World Championship berth since their debut in 2011.


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor
 
Share
CONTACT FORM