Croatia remain on course for EHF EURO 2022
After losing both matches of the double-header against France in Rounds 3 and 4, Croatia were under enormous pressure with only two points from four matches in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, By winning the match against Ukraine at Graz (Austria) on Wednesday, the team of head coach Nenad Sostaric remain in the race for the final tournament, while Ukraine have to hope for some joy from the postponed matches against Czech Republic.
Ukraine vs Croatia 19:26 (11:12)
- it was a must-win game for Croatia after losing the first leg 22:23 on home court
- the biggest gap in the completely level first half was two goals, but by the end, the Croatians were ahead deservedly by a 12:11 score
- going on a 4:0 run to make it 18:13, the visitors were on the path to victory already, but Ukraine struck back, but could not manage to take the lead again
- on both sides, the goalkeepers were impressive, with Croatia's Ivana Kapitanovic saving 17 shots (47%) and Ukrainian Mariia Gladun stopping 14 (35%)
- three minutes before the end, Dora Krsnik finally decided the encounter by putting her side 24:18 up, best scorers were Ana Turk with seven for Croatia and Iryna Glibko with five for Ukraine
Tricky situation for Croatia and Ukraine
Both matches of Ukraine vs Czech Republic have been postponed from March to June. If Croatia win against the Czechs in Round 6 and France win both matches against Czech Republic and Ukraine respectively, the result of those matches will not have any importance, as in this scenario, Croatia book the second ticket for the EHF EURO 2022 in group 6 below group winners France. In any other permutation, those matches have a high significance - and Ukraine or Czech Republic still can clinch their berth.