Faroe Islands celebrate debut with huge win against Denmark
The Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2022 threw off with a huge shock in Portugal, as the Faroe Islands won their first-ever match in the competition, 33:32, against Denmark, creating one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.
Led by back Elias Ellefsen a Skipagotu, who scored nine goals and with a 15-save outing from goalkeeper Pauli Jacobsen, the Faroe Islands are now in a prime position to progress from a group where title holders Slovenia also recorded a heavy loss against Hungary, 31:22.
Germany and Sweden confirmed their powerhouse status in the other groups, as they recorded big wins against Italy and Montenegro, to throw off their campaign in style.
Denmark vs Faroe Islands 32:33 (15:15)
- Denmark started the competition without a win for the first time in history, boasting a positive start in each of the previous 12 editions in history at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO
- a 6:1 run from Denmark between the 28th and the 37th minutes, powered by centre back Thomas Sommer Arnoldsen, looked to be the pivotal moment of the match, helping Denmark create a four-goal lead, 20:16
- Arnoldsen entered in the fray as a challenger for the top goal scorer standing, with his 13-goal outing, but failed to help his team seal the win
- led by rising star Elias Ellefsen a Skipagotu, who scored nine goals throughout the game, Faroe Islands won their maiden game at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO, creating one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament
"It was a big disappointment for us. It's clear that it was not the start that we had hoped for. They played better than us, their attacks were hard to stop. We tried some different things but we didn't have any solution. Every player lost too many duels."
Slovenia vs Hungary 22:31 (11:14)
- Hungary sealed the win in the first match of the Men’s 20 EHF EURO for the first time since 2000, despite facing the reigning champions, Slovenia
- Slovenia recorded their largest loss in the competition since a nine-goal drubbing at the hands of Switzerland, 22:31, in July 2016
- relying heavily on defence and on pacy fast breaks, Hungary was helped by left wing’s Bence Krakovszki, who scored eight goals,
- the MVP of last year’s Men’s 19 EHF EURO, Slovenia’s centre back Mitja Janc, was his team’s top scorer, with seven goals, but the reigning champions’ attacking efficiency was a meagre 47.8%
"I’m very happy for winning this first game. We will try to improve even more for tomorrow and we have to be on our best to win again against Denmark. We need to be with both feet on the ground, to be prepared the same way as today,” Bence Krakovszki, Player Of the Match from Hungary commented.
Sweden vs Montenegro 31:19 (16:11)
- missing key player Arsenije Dragasevic, who was sidelined due to a Covid-19 positive test, Montenegro found themselves in an early 4:1 hole after only six minutes, in their first-ever match at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO
- left back William Elovson and right wing Carl Hamberg were Sweden’s top scorers, combining for 13 goals, six less than the entire Montenegro’s team
- this was Sweden’s biggest win in the competition since the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2008, when they clinched a 42:26 win against Estonia
- Sweden started the competition with a win for the first time since 2014, when they clinched a 36:24 win against Israel, going on to secure the silver medal
"I saw it as a very physical match and we didn't know the opponents very well. But we played our own game and I think we did it quite well," Player of the Match from Sweden - William Elovson commented.
Germany vs Italy 35:26 (15:12)
- led by left wing Tim Freihofer, who scored eight goals, Germany took the lead early in the match and never looked back
- being ushered back in the team after an injury, Germany’s captain, Renars Uscins, failed to score goal, missing three shots, leaving question marks over his form ahead of the next games
- this was Germany’s biggest win in the competition since a 12-goal win against Belarus, 36:24, in July 2014
- in their first-ever game at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO, Italy proved they are an emerging side, as their attacking efficiency was down to 46%, while their lack of experience saw the rookies rely on back Christian Manojlovic, who is only 16 years old and had the largest amount of shots, 11, in the side
"We played a good game, when Italy played 7 on 6 we took some easy balls and could score in the empty goal. We also had two great goalkeepers in the back. It was a little bit difficult in the attack but we are happy," Player Of the Match from Germany," Tim Freihofer said.