Poland and the Faroe Islands reach last four
While Belarus and the Netherlands were already assured of semi-final berths prior to Thursday’s matches at the Women’s 19 EHF Championship in North Macedonia, four other teams still had the possibility of reaching the last four.
The Faroe Islands won 29:22 over the Netherlands – who were previously unbeaten in three matches – to secure a semi-final ticket and finish group B in first place. The result eliminated North Macedonia from semi-final contention. Meanwhile, in group A, Poland's dramatic draw against Iceland was enough for Poland to qualify at the expense of their opponents.
- Belarus will face Netherlands in Saturday’s first semi-final at 17:30 CEST, while the Faroe Islands will play Poland in the second semi-final at 20:00 CEST
- after the preliminary round in Skopje, Belarus are the only team with a 100 per cent record
- a total of 860 goals were scored in 16 preliminary round matches
Poland advance by the slenderest of margins
Ahead of their group A clash in Skopje, Poland and Iceland knew that the match would decide which side advanced to the semi-finals. However, it is doubtful that either side could have expected that Poland would qualify courtesy of goals scored in all group matches after a 24:24 draw. Julia Niewiadomska scored 21 goals for Poland in the preliminary round – but none were more valuable than the equaliser that she scored with less than 20 seconds remaining to keep her side’s medal hopes alive.
Faroe Islands finish group B on a high
With two wins and a draw from their first three matches in group B, the Faroe Islands were in a strong position prior to facing the Netherlands in the last round of matches. However, a loss would have given North Macedonia a chance to overtake them. Taking full advantage of having control over their own destiny, the Faroe Islands recorded an emphatic seven-goal win (29:22) that confirmed their qualification and first-place finish in group B.