Germany sneak through despite defeat against Spain; Poland out

MAL7445 V EHF / Björn Pazen

The Women's EHF EURO 2022 preliminary round in Podgorica has ended with the expected thriller. Spain needed to win to proceed to the main round – and did so: 23:21. Germany were not harmed by the small defeat, as they also advance. But Poland they have been sent home.

When Xenia Smits scored Germany's 23:21 in the closing moments, both sides knew for sure they had qualified. Spain take two points with them, German start the main round with zero.


Germany vs Spain 21:23 (10:11) 

  • the whole match was a defence battle with low attacking efficiency, as both sides scored less than 50% of their attacks
  • Spain had the better start and were never down from 4:4 until the break, but on the other hand, the biggest lead was just one goal  
  • after the break, Germany replaced goalkeeper Katharina Filter (three saves from 13 shots) with Isabell Roch and Spain changed their defence system to a very offensive variant – until the 14:11 it worked, then Germany had adapted to score from the six-metre line and by breakthroughs 
  • when Germany missed three consecutive chances and caused two turnovers, Spain pulled ahead to 18:15 and virtually, Germany were on their way back home 
  • in the final 15 minutes, including their only four-goals gap at 22:18, Spain almost only scored by penalty shots of Carmen Campos, while Germany tried hard to break through the defence wall 
  • finally, it was the strike of Xenia Smits for the 21:23 at 24 seconds before the end which made both teams happy
  • Campos and Alina Grijseels were the best scorers of their sides with six goals each; Spanish left back Alexandrina Barbosa was awarded Player of the Match

All series of Spain, Germany and Poland continue 

Spain had missed the main round for the last time in 2002; Germany only once failed to qualify for the second stage of a Women’s EHF EURO, back in 2010, when they lost their final match in the preliminary round by 10 goals against Ukraine. Now, both make their way to Skopje. On the other hand, the Polish series continues, as since 2014, they have not made it to the main round. Only some more seconds or two more Spanish goals were missing for them.

Spain left back Carmen Campos: “This match was really difficult for us, as it was our last chance to go to the main round. We were under big pressure before the game, but those matches we love as high-level players – and we managed to turn pressure into motivation to win the match. We let everything on the court, our pressure became strength.”

Germany centre back Alina Grijseels: “We had a bit of luck to go to main round and we are happy about this. We are not happy with the game, as we did not play as we wanted. We made too many technical mistakes in attack, but in the end we go to the main round and this is important.”

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