Spain, Sweden complete semi-final line-up
Spain defeated Denmark, and Sweden beat Germany on Wednesday night to seal their spots in the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2022 semi-finals. On Friday, Serbia play Spain, and Portugal take on Sweden for a place in Sunday’s final.
Sweden ended Germany’s gold dream at the M20 EHF EURO 2022 on Wednesday, beating the M19 EHF EURO 2021 champions 29:25 to finish main round group M2 in second place. Group winners are Serbia, who suffered a heavy defeat against France (38:28), but that result did not affect the final standings.
In group M1, Spain secured the second semi-final spot with a high-scoring 40:34 win over Denmark. Portugal had already qualified, but the hosts had their unbeaten status in the tournament ended by Hungary (33:30) on Wednesday night.
- hosts Portugal qualified for the semi-finals of the M20 EHF EURO for the third time, after winning silver in 2010 and finishing fourth in 2018
- Serbia qualified for the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 2006, despite boasting a negative goal difference (-2) following their 38:28 loss to France
- Sweden got the win they needed in the final game of the main round against Germany: 29:25 (11:10) and made the final weekend for the first time since 2014
- Spain, who have scored the most goals on average of all teams so far (37.2), jumped to a 40:34 (20:17) win against Denmark to seal a semi-final berth
- No team has reached the semi-finals unbeaten, as Portugal, Spain, Serbia and Sweden all had one defeat, while Serbia also dropped another point in the preliminary round
- Portugal right back Francisco Mota da Costa is the tournament-leading top scorer with 43 goals, ahead of Denmark centre back Thomas Sommer Arnoldsen with 39, and Slovenia’s Mitja Janc and Italy’s Thomas Bortoli with 35 each
- in the intermediate round, Slovenia and Italy won their respective groups and will, while the Faroe Islands, who won three games in their maiden edition of the M20 EHF EURO, and Iceland finished second and will feature in the 9/12 Placement Matches
- the two semi-finals – Serbia vs Spain and Portugal vs Sweden – are scheduled for Friday 15 July in the Centro de Desportos e Congresso de Matosinhos
In the first half it was really tight, and in the second half we managed to get some goals ahead, and then we kept the lead and secured the win. It is going to be fun to play against Portugal and it will be a very good game.
Strong attacks versus good defences in the semi-finals
Portugal beat Spain 36:35 when they faced each other in the preliminary round, and both teams could meet up on Sunday again. Their group A is the only one to have sent two teams to the final weekend.
The two neighbours from the Iberian Peninsula are probably the most eye-catching teams in the competition with their amazing firepower in attack: Spain have scored 37.2 goals per game on average, Portugal 33.6.
Both Spain and Portugal know what it means to play in the final, as ‘Los Hispanos’ won it in 2012 and 2016, while the current hosts made it in 2010 – but lost to Denmark.
But the competition will be fierce in the semi-finals. Serbia and Sweden have a different approach to the game with a more defence-based focus. Sweden, for instance, have conceded only 24.8 goals per match so far.
The contrasting styles of the various teams make the semi-finals on Friday even more appealing.
Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2022
Semi-finals, Friday 15 July:
> 17:30 CEST: Serbia vs Spain
> 20:30 CEST: Portugal vs Sweden
Medal matches, Sunday 17 July:
> 15:30 CEST: third-place match
> 18:00 CEST: final
All matches live on EHFTV (geo-restrictions may apply)