Portugal advance to the next phase in style

Portugal advance to the next phase in style

Jamie Whittington

After Portugal and Kosovo had recorded victories in their first two matches in the Women's EHF EURO 2022 phase 1 qualifiers, both teams knew that their encounter in Prishtina would decide which team would finish first in group A and qualify for the next phase. 

In a match that perhaps proved more one-sided than expected, Portugal took firm control of the match midway through the first half and never looked back as they raced away to a 13-goal win.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Greece remain on course for phase 2 after they defeated Latvia 34:17 in group B. Meanwhile, Finland beat Israel 28:24 in Torshavn – leaving group C wide open ahead of Sunday's match between Israel and the Faroe Islands. 



Portugal vs Kosovo 30:17 (12:7)

  • after a tight start to the match that would decide top spot in group A, Maria Da Silva's four goals for Portugal helped provide her side with a five-goal cushion (9:4) after 20 minutes  
  • in the second half, as Portugal's grip on the match tightened, Beatriz Sousa added three more goals to her first half tally and finished as Portugal's top scorer, with five goals
  • Jessica Ferreira had a sensational game in goal for Portugal, making 17 saves from 30 shots faced, as Kosovo found it extremely difficult in attack
  • despite the fact that they won by 13 goals, this was Portugal's narrowest win from their three victories in group A

Luxembourg vs Cyprus 19:21 (9:9)

  • in a low-scoring first half, Cyprus enjoyed a two-goal lead on three occasions – at 3:1, 6:4 and 7:5 – but Luxembourg fought back to ensure that the half-time score was level at 9:9
  • as Luxembourg failed to score during a 12-minute period in the second half, Cyprus seized control of the match with a 7:0 run to lead 17:11
  • however, Luxembourg reduced Cyprus's advantage to one goal (16:17) in the 54th minute, but Marianna Charalambous scored two crucial goals in the closing stages for Cyprus, who earned their first win in group A
  • after scoring 16 goals in Cyprus's first two group matches, Magdalini Papa once again finished as her side's top scorer – this time with seven goals


Latvia vs Greece 17:34 (8:17)

  • with Lamprini Tsakalou and Vasiliki Gkatziou proving difficult for Latvia to stop, Greece scored 10 goals from their first 11 shots and were ahead 10:5 after 15 minutes 
  • when Christa-Maria Stougiannidou scored at the end of a 6:0 run in the 51st minute, Greece had increased their advantage to 18 goals (30:12) for the first time 
  • Erika Zeneli and Lamprini Tsakalou both scored a total of five goals for Greece, who had 12 different scorers in the match, while Madara Cibulska netted four for Latvia
  • while other scenarios remain possible, Greece will win group B and qualify for the next phase if they avoid defeat against Italy on Sunday

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Italy 25:22 (15:12)

  • although Italy left back Ilaria Dalla Costa scored five goals from five shots in the opening 15 minutes, Bosnia and Herzegovina took a three-goal lead (10:7) in the 21st minute 
  • Italy made a strong start to the second half and equalised on four occasions, including at 21:21 in the 52nd minute, but Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoyed a pivotal 3:0 spell that gave them a 24:21 lead with six minutes left
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina goalkeeper Anica Gudelj was instrumental for her side, making 19 saves and finishing with a 46 per cent save efficiency 
  • despite winning the match, Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot advance to the next phase. Even if Italy beat Greece on Sunday and Bosnia and Herzegovina defeat Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal difference in a three-way head-to-head between those teams will be negative


Israel vs Finland 24:28 (10:14)

  • Nicolina Fredriksson and Ella Holopainen dominated the scoring the Finland in the first half, scoring four apiece, and Finland established a four-goal lead after 30 minutes 
  • as Nicolina Fredriksson and Johanna Hilli found the back of the net shortly after the break, Finland's lead had increased to six goals (19:13) in the 37th minute
  • although Shira Eden Vakrat scored nine goals from 13 shots for Israel and finished as the game's top scorer, Finland's greater scoring depth was the difference between the two teams
  • Finland finish group C with two points and a plus two goal difference, but Sunday's match between Israel and the Faroe Islands will determine the final standings in group C

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