Six teams progress at M18 EHF EURO 2022
After only two match days in the preliminary round at the M18 EHF EURO 2022 in Montenegro, six sides – Hungary, Croatia, Portugal, Norway, Spain and Sweden – have qualified for the main round with two-game winning streaks.
Only two other spots – one in group A and one in group C – are still available, with the deciding matches taking place in Podgorica on Sunday.
- Croatia secured their largest-ever win in the competition, 46:21, against hosts Montenegro, topping their previous record set in 2018, against Portugal, by nine goals
- reigning champions Germany returned to winning ways with a 33:29 win against Poland, but must win against Iceland in the last game to progress to the main round
- with another clear win, 35:25 against the Faroe Islands, Spain qualified for the main round. With 76 goals scored, five fewer than Croatia’s 81-goal tally, Spain have the second best attack in the competition
- despite losing their second game in as many days, the Faroe Islands still boast the top scorer of the tournament, left back Óli Mittun, who has a 24-goal tally after the first two days
- masters of efficiency, Norway secured their second one-goal win in as many days, 32:31 against Denmark, to seal their main round spot. Denmark do not control their own fate after drawing against Serbia on Thursday
Six teams in, but crunch times to follow
Croatia fell short of securing the largest win in the history of the M18 EHF EURO by a single goal, a record still held by Yugoslavia's 44:18 win against Israel in 1997. But Croatia's 25-goal win was enough to secure their place in the main round, where they will be aiming to start with two points, provided they win against Portugal in the last game of the preliminary round.
Five other teams – Hungary in group A, Portugal in group B, Norway in group C, Spain and Sweden in group D – have also qualified for the main round after extending their winning streaks to two games at the M18 EHF EURO 2022.
With the points earned against the teams that qualify for the next phase carried forward, the matches between Croatia and Portugal in group B and Spain and Sweden in group D will be paramount for their future in the tournament hosted by Montenegro.
From the teams that have already earned safe passage to the next round, only Norway are still to win a M18 EHF EURO medal, with the five other teams having already won the gold medal at least once.