Austria win when it counts to qualify
Austria left it late to secure their ticket for EHF EURO 2022 but did so with a strong win against Bosnia Herzegovina, who also went through for their second straight final tournament ticket.
Germany rounded off a flawless qualification group with their sixth win against bottom-ranked Estonia.
Austria vs Bosnia Herzegovina 27:23 (15:11)
- Austria started in express mode, with a strong defence and many counter-attack goals, to lead 8:4 after 14 minutes
- steered by Lukas Hutecek and Robert Weber, the Austrians managed to keep the distance even though defence boss Lukas Herburger was ruled out with a red card after three suspensions shortly after the break
- after their close 26:24 defeat on home ground against Germany, the Bosnians seemed to be a bit tired – and their usually outstanding goalkeeper Benjamin Buric did not have his best day
- finally, when the results of the remaining matches were visible, the Bosnians even finished among the best third-placed teams to qualify for their second straight EHF EURO
- Weber and Ibrahim Haseljic were the top scorers with six goals each.
Austria deliver in crunchtime
In 2010 and 2020, Austria qualified for the EHF EURO tournaments as hosts – now, for the third time after 2014 and 2018, they qualified by right.
After three straight defeats against Germany at home and away and at Bosnia-Herzegowina, they had their backs against the walls and needed four points from the last two matches and Ales Pajovic's team delivered. In their neighbour countries, Slovakia and Hungary, the Austrians now hope for the comeback of their top star Nikola Bilyk, who is out since August 2020 after he tore his ACL.
Germany vs Estonia 35:20 (17:10)
- like in the 35:23 reverse fixture win, the Germans did not have any problems with Estonia in their second duel
- already at the break, the lead was seven goals with Jannik Kohlbacher (5) and Marcel Schiller (4) scoring more than half of the German goals
- Germany head coach Alfred Gislason gave time to rest for some stars such as Kiel’s Champions League winners Patrick Wiencek and Steffen Weinhold, while top star Mait Patrail (from Rhein-Neckar Löwen) did not play for Estonia
- Germany will play their 14th final tournament after a flawless group, while Estonia still wait for their debut at the European championships