Historic win for Faroe Islands, but Czechs are safe
What a night for handball in the Faroe Islands. The thrilling 27:26 win against Czech Republic was the first ever victory for the Scandinavians in the final stage of an EHF EURO qualification. After 32 defeats and two draws, the 35th qualifier was the magic one for the Faroese.
Despite the defeat, the Czech dream of playing their EHF EURO 2022 preliminary round matches in their neighbouring country of Slovakia will come true, as they will certainly finish as - at worst - one of the best-ranked third-placed teams.
Faroe Islands vs Czech Republic 27:26 (11:12)
- the crucial moment of the match was a save by Tordur Skorheim, which Teis Torn Rasmussen converted into an empty-net goal for a 27:25 lead with three minutes to go
- the most inspirational player on the victors’ side was 18-year-old Elias Ellefsen a Skipagotu, who – alongside Sjurdur Olsen, who netted for the Faroes’ first lead after the break at 25:24 – scored five goals
- 13 saves from goalkeeper veteran Martin Galia and nine goals by Matej Klima were not enough for the Czechs
- after Miroslav Jurka netted for 26:27, the Czechs had the last attack, but failed after an unforced turnover by the hosts
- the furthest ahead the Czechs got was four goals in the 27th minute, and the Faroese equalised at 21:21 20 minutes later to seal their comeback
Czechs will play at EHF EURO 2022
The Czechs will definitely participate at EHF EURO 2022 - the question is whether they finish second or third in the group.
Russia have already qualified, meaning the Czechs or Ukraine will finish second in the group. It is still possible for both the Czech Republic and Ukraine to proceed to the EHF EURO 2022, as both have five points before their final meeting on Sunday.
The Czech Repubic won the first leg of the direct duel 28:26 on Wednesday. By beating Ukraine and drawing with Russia the Czechs already have three points in the ranking for the four best third-ranked teams, in which only results against group winners and runners-up count.
If Ukraine win, the Czech Republic will qualify, with only Poland, Lithuania and Romania able to overtake them in the rankings of the third-ranked teams. If the Czechs win, Ukraine are out of the race, and the Czechs will go through in second.