Switzerland take first points since 2018
Switzerland ended a four-year wait for a win in the EHF EURO qualifiers, beating Lithuania 36:30 to put their first two points on the group 1 table. After a close first half, Switzerland powered to a clear win that was only their second in history against Lithuania.
Lithuania vs Switzerland 30:36 (19:18)
- the match was close through to the 46th minute, 26:28, after which Switzerland pulled away to a clear victory
- 37 goals were netted in the first half of the high-scoring encounter, as the goalkeepers were pummelled with shot after shot — more than 50 combined in the first period. The pace only slowed towards the end as both teams tired
- between the teams, five goalkeepers had their turn in goal in the first half, with Lithuania’s Evita Zilionyte the most successful with four saves
- Switzerland were led by five goals from Xenia Hodel in the first 15 minutes, while Lithuania’s Rita Repeckaite netted six from six in the opening half. Hodel finished as the top scorer of the match with 12 goals
- within four minutes from the 46th to the 50th, Switzerland turned the two-goal game into a six-goal difference in their favour, 26:32, at which point the two points were decided
- Switzerland end long wait for a win — can they end a longer one?
Switzerland have never reached the final tournament of the EHF EURO and hope the 2022 venture could be their turn to do so following the men’s side’s return to major championships in recent years.
The Swiss Handball Federation launched a women’s handball academy in 2020, with the long-term goal of the best possible performance at the EHF EURO 2024, which they will co-host with Hungary and Austria. The concentrated effort on the national side might be beginning to show results now.
As co-hosts, Switzerland are directly qualified for the next edition in 2024, but earning qualification for the 2022 edition would be a great earlier reward.