Cyprus and hosts Georgia advance to semi-finals
The first two semi-finalists of the IHF/EHF Trophy 2021 in Georgia have been confirmed on Tuesday, as Cyprus and the host nation secured their places among the best four teams.
A day after they beat Bulgaria in the tournament opener, Cyprus outscored Andorra 38:16 to lock up top spot in group A.
Outstanding player was once again left wing Christos Argyrou, who scored 10 times to raise his total for the event to 16. Argyrou was also one of the leading players for Sabbianco Anorthosis Famagusta with 47 goals in the Cypriot club's run to the EHF European Cup semi-final this season.
Georgia also won their second match to finish top of group B, but Moldova proved a tough nut to crack. The hosts led by just a single goal at half-time before extending their advantage to seven at the end: 27:20.
Andorra vs Cyprus 16:38 (10:20)
- Cyprus were in complete control from the throw-off and led 7:1 within 10 minutes on their way to a double-digit lead at half-time
- Andorra scored just once in the last eight minutes of the first half and six times in total after the break, while they missed three of their four penalty throws
- apart from Christos Argyrou's 10 goals, Andreas Fotiou (six) and Constantinos Michael (five) contributed significantly; Andorra's best scorer was Pol Soto Morgade with four
- Andorra can still qualify for the semi-finals but must beat Bulgaria on Wednesday to do so
Moldova vs Georgia 20:27 (10:11)
- not much was separating the teams in an up-and-down first half, with Georgia carving out only a narrow lead
- the hosts stepped it up right after the break and opened a four-goal gap, and their victory was never really in doubt afterwards
- Georgia's Giorgi Tskhovrebadze and Moldova's Roman Zacaciurin both netted 10 times, while no other player on the court scored more than three goals
- Moldova face a must-win match against Azerbaijan on Wednesday if they want to join Georgia into the semi-finals
Cyprus and Georgia will learn their semi-final opponents on Wednesday, when Bulgaria take on Andorra (14:30 CEST) and Azerbaijan face Moldova (17:00 CEST) in the closing group matches. Both games will be streamed live on EHFTV.
Not only the trophy is at stake this week, as the top three teams at this event will earn a place in the EHF EURO 2024 relegation round.