20221012 HUNLTH 3
EHF EURO

First round winners face crunch away challenges

20221106 AH 3577 2 EHF / Adrian Costeiu

The first round of the EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers brought 16 home wins, with all of those teams now facing away ties in their quest to secure a berth at EHF EURO 2024.

There are plenty of interesting matches. Montenegro travel to Bosnia Herzegovina, while Serbia face Slovakia, a hungry side that conceded a painful 12-goal loss in the first round.

In the EHF EURO Cup, , Sweden and Denmark won their first matches and will now face each other in a Scandinavian derby, while Spain and Germany seek their first win when they face off in Jaen.

GROUP 1

Türkiye vs North Macedonia
Sunday, 16 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • North Macedonia will be trying to extend their winning run to four games in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, one shy of their competition record
  • Kiril Lazarov's side will edge closer to qualifying for a seventh consecutive edition of EHF EURO if they win, opening a four-point gap ahead of Türkiye
  • the hosts are coming from a tough 17-goal loss to Portugal, while North Macedonia have started the group with one of their best results in EHF EURO Qualification, with a 14-goal win against Luxembourg
  • Türkiye have won only two of their last 13 matches in qualification round 2, losing seven in a row
  • North Macedonia have won all five meetings against Türkiye between 2005 and 2019 in EHF EURO or World Championship qualifiers

Luxembourg vs Portugal
Sunday, 16 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • a win would help Portugal tie their best run in the history of the EHF EURO Qualifiers, a four-game winning streak
  • Luxembourg are in the qualification round 2 of the EHF EURO for the first time since 2008 and started the competition with a 24:38 loss against North Macedonia
  • Portugal are coming off scoring their highest amount of goals in EHF EURO Qualifiers, in their 44:27 win against Türkiye
  • no team scored at least 40 goals in the first round of the competition, making Portugal the team with the best attack so far, followed by North Macedonia (38) and Norway (38)
  • in nine matches against Luxembourg, Portugal have won seven, including the last three

GROUP 2

Finland vs Norway
Sunday, 16 October, 15:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Norway begin the game on the brink of their 50th win in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, 38:26, against Slovakia
  • a win would bring Norway one game closer to their best winning streak in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, a six-game streak between February 1995 and September 1997
  • Finland have lost their last 18 qualification phase 2 games, with their last win coming against Austria in November 2016
  • this will be only the second game in charge for Norway's coach Jonas Wille, who took over in April 2022
  • the five previous games between the two sides have been won by Norway, with the latest match in 1990

Slovakia vs Serbia
Sunday, 16 October, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Slovakia's new coach, Fernando Gurich, could not avoid a big loss in his first game, 26:38, against Norway, with his side conceding the second largest total of goals in the first round
  • the home side will be looking to snap their worst losing streak in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, 10 games in a row, dating back to May 2017
  • the two sides have met only once in history, at EHF EURO 2012, in Belgrade, when the result was a draw, 21:21
  • this will be Serbia's 50th game in the EHF EURO Qualifiers. They have secured 30 wins, 10 draws and nine losses
  • a win would tie Serbia's best winning streak of four games, which was set twice before

GROUP 3

Estonia vs Iceland
Saturday, 15 October, 18:10 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Iceland need only two wins in EHF EURO Qualifiers to reach the 50-win mark
  • the visitors have started the competition with two wins in their first two matches twice in the past nine attempts and they can make it three with a win against Estonia
  • Estonia are on the brink of tying their worst streak in the competition, losing the last four matches, as the longest losing run was six games, set twice, the last time between October 2018 and June 2019
  • in qualification round 2, Estonia have won only three of the 20 matches they have played since 2012
  • Iceland are unbeaten against Estonia, winning three games and drawing another one

Israel vs Czech Republic
Sunday, 16 October, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Israel are on a four-game losing streak and will be trying to make their first appearance at the EHF EURO since 2002
  • this will be the Czech Republic's 80 th game in EHF EURO Qualifiers, having won 47, drawn five and lost 27, with a winning percentage of 59%
  • in the past seven EHF EURO Qualifying editions, the Czech Republic have won their first two games three times, the last time in 2020
  • Israel are faring better at home than in away matches, winning six of their last 16 matches as hosts in qualification phase 2
  • In eight games played between the two sides, Czech Republic won six, Israel one, at home, and one game ended in a draw
20221012 SRBFIN 1
All teams are strong in the EURO qualification. Israel lost home game against Hungary because of one goal. They are not a well-known team on the international level but Israel are a good team and we have to prepare with great respect. We know it will be tough. I think our attack is going to be very important.
Xavier Sabate
Czech Republic coach

GROUP 4

Romania vs Ukraine
Sunday, 16 October, 16:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • no team has scored as many goals as Romania's 32, but lost the match in the first round, as Xavi Pascual's side conceded a 32:36 loss against Austria
  • Romania are the team with the longest wait in history to qualify for another EHF EURO edition, as their last appearance was in 1996
  • Romania's last win in the EHF EURO Qualifiers came in November 2020, against Montenegro, as Xavi Pascual's side is now on a five-game winless run
  • left wing Nicușor Negru scored 11 goals for Romania in the loss against Austria, to stand third in the top goal scorer standings in EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers
  • Ukraine have won three of the seven previous meetings, with two other matches ending in a stalemate, while Romania have won two games

Faroe Islands vs Austria
Sunday, 16 October, 19:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • with their second win in the group, Austria would take a big step towards sealing their fourth consecutive berth for a EHF EURO, a record for the team
  • the young Faroe team will miss influential back Elias Ellefsen a Skipagotu, who is injured, but still have back Oli Mittun, the M18 EHF EURO 2022 top scorer in their roster
  • this will be Austria's 90th game in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, with Ales Pajovic's side winning 44 games
  • right wing Robert Weber needs only five goals against the Faroe Islands to become the third player to score at least 900 goals for Austria
  • the two sides have previously met twice, neither time in the Faroe Islands, with Austria taking two clear wins, 27:18 and 26:19

GROUP 5

Belgium vs Croatia
Sunday, 16 October, 13:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Belgium will be buoyed by their first round game, where they lost against the Netherlands, 24:25, with their more experienced opponents scoring the winning goal with 26 seconds to go
  • the hosts do not have a win in a EHF EURO qualification phase 2 match, conceding 17 losses in 18 games, with the other being a draw
  • this will be Belgium's 100th game in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, with only 22 wins to show in this period
  • Croatia can rely on experienced players like Domagoj Duvnjak or Luka Cindric, with the former being the all-time top scorer for Croatia, with 723 goals, two of them coming in the first round win against Greece
  • the two sides have also met in the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers, with Croatia taking two clear wins, 30:25 and 28:19

Greece vs Netherlands
Sunday, 16 October, 17:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Staffan Olsson's debut for the Netherlands was a narrow 25:24 win against Belgium, with the Dutch side clinching the win in the final minute of the match
  • right back Kay Smits was the team's top scorer and is tied with Austria's Robert Weber as the top scorer of the EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers, with 12 goals
  • the Netherlands are riding their best-ever winning streak in EHF EURO Qualifiers – four matches in a row – dating back two years
  • Greece are in the middle of their worst-ever run in the competition, losing six games in a row, dating back to June 2019
  • the Netherlands have won seven games against Greece, but all of the hosts' three wins in the mutual matches came on home court

GROUP 6

Lithuania vs Switzerland
Sunday, 16 October, 13:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Lithuania have won only 10 of the 36 games played in the EHF EURO Qualifiers from 2012 onwards, but made it for the final tournament in 2022
  • Switzerland aim to return to the EHF EURO for the second time in a row, a feature achieved only in 2004 and 2006, as a win against Lithuania, their second consecutive one, would make them edge even closer
  • the guests have never started a qualification phase 2 of the EHF EURO with two wins in a row
  • back Andre Schmid, who scored eight goals in Switzerland’s win against Georgia in the first round, needs only 79 goals to become the all-time top goal scorer of the team
  • Lithuania have won five of the 10 mutual matches between the two sides, with Switzerland taking four wins and another game finishing in a draw

Georgia vs Hungary
Sunday, 16 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Hungary’s new coach, Chema Rodriguez, has a 100% winning record in competitive matches for his side, securing wins in all three
  • the guests have started the EHF EURO Qualifiers with two wins in a row in the past eight editions
  • only three teams have scored fewer goals than Georgia’s 23 in the first round of this Qualifiers edition
  • Georgia have lost their previous two games in the EHF EURO Qualifiers and will face one of their toughest matches in the competition, having won only 12 of the 65 games played
  • Hungary won both matches against Georgia, 22:15 and 27:17, in the EHF EURO 1994 Qualifiers

GROUP 7

Kosovo vs Slovenia
Sunday, 16 October, 19:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Kosovo are on a three-game losing run, with their last loss coming against Montenegro, 20:29
  • the hosts need only 56 goals to reach the 500-goals scored in EHF EURO Qualifiers
  • Kosovo have only won two games in the competition, only one of them coming at home
  • with a win, Slovenia would edge closer to EHF EURO 2024 and secure their third consecutive EHF EURO Qualification start with two wins in a row
  • the sides are meeting for the first time
20221012 MKDLUX 3
Against Montenegro there were some good elements, but also some mistakes that we have worked on, so not to repeat. We also have some young players that we are gradually bringing on in the national team. On Sunday we have a tough game against Slovenia, but still we are prepared and ready to give our all.
Bujar Qerimi
Kosovo coach

Bosnia Herzegovina vs Montenegro
Sunday, 16 October, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Bosnia need to kickstart their campaign with a win, aiming to qualify for a third EHF EURO time in a row
  • the hosts will aim to avoid their fourth consecutive loss in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, while their worst losing streak is eight games
  • Montenegro’s only start with two wins in the competition was in the EHF EURO 2014 Qualifiers
  • the guests need 42 goals to hit the 1500-goals milestone in the EHF EURO Qualifiers, having won 28 of the 53 matches played
  • this is the first meeting of the sides

GROUP 8

Latvia vs Poland
Sunday, 16 October, 14:10 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Latvia lost the first match against France by 17 goals, scoring only seven goals in the first half, their worst performance in the first half since October 2018, when they also scored seven goals against Slovenia
  • with a win against Latvia, Poland would win their 45th match in the EHF EURO Qualifiers and would start the competition with two wins for the first time in a decade
  • this will be Latvia’s 100th game in history of the EHF EURO Qualifiers, winning 31 matches from the 99 they played so far
  • Poland’s right wing Arkadiusz Moryto scored nine goals in the first round match against Italy, being the fourth best scorer in the competition so far
  • Poland beat Latvia twice in their previous mutual meetings, by an average of 16 goals per game

Italy vs France
Sunday, 16 October, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • in the first round, France secured the largest win in the 16 games of the EHF EURO Qualifiers, a 17-goal win against Latvia, 35:18
  • Italy are in the midst of , a five-game losing streak in EHF EURO Qualifiers, their longest losing run
  • in the qualification round 2 of the EHF EURO, Italy, who are aiming to return to the final tournament for the first time since 1998, have only three wins in 13 matches
  • in the first match of the group, Italy could only manage to stay close to Poland for a half, conceding 20 goals in the second half to lose 23:30
  • France are unbeaten in four matches against Italy, winning three and drawing another

EHF EURO Cup

Spain vs Germany
Saturday, 15 October, 20:15 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the two sides are coming off losses in the first round of the EHF EURO Cup, Spain conceding a 31:39 loss against Denmark, while Germany lost 33:37 against Sweden
  • in the first edition of the EHF EURO Cup, Spain finished third, after Hungary and Croatia, taking three wins in six matches, but went to EHF EURO 2022 and secured silver
  • in the first match, Germany’s line player and captain Johannes Golla was the top scorer, with 12 goals, making him top goal scorer in the EHF EURO Cup
  • Germany lost their last four matches against Spain, with their last win coming at the 2019 World Championship, 31:30, in the main round
  • the last competitive meeting between the two sides was in the main round of EHF EURO 2022, when Spain dominated Germany and took a 29:23 win

Sweden vs Denmark
Sunday, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the reigning world champions, Denmark, will face the reigning European champions, Sweden, in a rematch of the 2021 World Championship final, won 26:24 by Denmark
  • in Denmark’s first match in the competition, won 39:31 against Spain, right back Mathias Gidsel, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games MVP, was top scorer with eight goals
  • Sweden are without their top two goalkeepers, Andreas Palicka and Mikael Appelgren, while Denmark miss left wing Magnus Landin Jacobsen, who has been replaced by Casper Mortensen
  • Sweden are on a seven-game winning streak in competitive matches, but they lost a friendly game against Denmark, 27:31, in April 2022
  • the last seven games provide a well-balanced head-to-head record between the two Scandinavian powerhouses – three wins each and a draw

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