Three teams eye tickets to EHF EURO 2022

EHF / Courtney Gahan

France, Denmark and The Netherlands could become the next teams to secure a place at the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 when the qualifiers continue on Saturday and Sunday. Nine matches are to be played in round 4 — all of which are the second legs of double-headers.

The EHF EURO Cup will also continue with the reverse fixtures of their midweek matches.

Following a decision on the competition structures announced on Friday, teams in the qualifier groups featuring Russia and Belarus have been awarded 10:0 wins and two points for each remaining match scheduled against one of these sides. 

As a result, the first berth for the final tournament has been confirmed, with Poland booking group 1's first spot of the two available. 

Switzerland vs Lithuania
Sunday 6 March, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Switzerland will look to back up their 36:30 win in the first leg of the double-header against Lithuania with a victory on the home court
  • Switzerland have four points courtesy of their round 3 win and their scheduled match against Russia, while Lithuania have two due to their scheduled game versus Russia
  • Lithuania have reached the final tournament once, in 1996. Switzerland have never qualified for an EHF EURO
  • Lithuania have won three out of five official games against Switzerland, but their last victory was in 2006. Switzerland won the most recent encounter prior to the round 3 clash, in 2018
  • Switzerland’s 23-year-old right back Xenia Hodel scored 12 goals in the reverse fixture against Lithuania

Denmark vs Romania
Saturday 5 March, 16:10 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Denmark take the court in Odense with a perfect record of three victories in three games and the maximum six points. Romania have three points following one win and one draw, versus Faroe Islands and Austria, respectively
  • the first leg of the double header, played on Wednesday, saw Denmark win 35:28 in Romania
  • Denmark are one of only two teams to have scored more than 100 goals in the qualifiers — 101, to be exact — but The Netherlands have netted more than the Scandinavian side
  • Romania’s away record against Denmark is strong. They have won three out of five mutual matches played in Denmark — and they were big ones: the EHF EURO 2010 bronze-medal game, the World Championship 2015 quarter-final and an Olympic qualifier that led to Denmark missing a place at Rio 2016
  • it is the first official game between the sides since 2016

Austria vs Faroe Islands
Saturday 5 March, 17:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Faroe Islands delivered a great and determined performance at home, but Austria ultimately took the two points thanks to a 29:24 win
  • the round 3 victory was Austria’s first in the qualifiers and took their points tally to three following a draw with Romania in the earlier rounds in October
  • Faroe Islands remain without points at the bottom of the group table, after reaching phase 2 of the qualifiers from phase 1
  • while Austria have reached the EHF EURO eight times, although not since 2008, Faroe Islands have never contested the final tournament
  • it is Faroe Islands’ third straight participation in phase 2 of the qualifiers after their debut in this stage in 2018

Netherlands vs Germany
Saturday 5 March, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • The Netherlands won the reverse fixture away 31:25, and now aim for what would be their seventh victory overall against Germany in official matches
  • The Netherlands are the group leaders with eight points and will secure their place at the final tournament with a point gained in Rotterdam
  • Germany have five points in their account, thanks to one win and their scheduled game against Belarus, one draw, and the loss to the Netherlands in round 3
  • Germany are coached by The Netherlands former leader, Henk Groener, while The Netherlands played their first game under the guidance of new coach Per Johansson in round 3
  • The Netherlands have scored the most goals of any team contesting the qualifiers — a statistic in which the Dutch are familiar frontrunners in any international competition — with a total of 104

France vs Croatia
Sunday 6 March, 17:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • France won the first leg against Croatia 21:19 but it was not an easy victory for the Olympic champions, as Croatia threatened to close the gap right to the end
  • France top the group with the maximum six points ahead of Croatia in second on two. A win on Sunday will see the EHF EURO 2020 silver medallists book their place at the final tournament
  • Croatia’s two points were gained with a victory over Czech Republic in round 2
  • Croatia have not beaten France in an official match since 2009, with now four games played since then
  • in what will be their 55th match in EHF EURO qualifiers, Croatia will hit the 1,500-goal milestone in qualifiers with their fourth goal

Spain vs Hungary
Saturday 5 March, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Spain took the lead only in the last five minutes of the first leg of the double-header against Hungary and secured a 30:28 win that extended their record to three victories in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers
  • Spain lead the group with their six points, while Hungary are second with four following wins against Portugal and Slovakia in the earlier rounds
  • there is a long history between the sides, with 16 prior encounters. Overall, Hungary have won eight times, Spain five, and three games ended in a draw
  • Hungary have participated in every edition of the EHF EURO, while Spain have not missed a final tournament since 2000

Slovakia vs Portugal
Sunday 6 March, 15:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • playing at home, Slovakia hope to take their first points of the qualifiers after defeats in their first three matches
  • Portugal lost to Hungary and Spain, as Slovakia did, in the earlier rounds, before collecting their first points with a 24:21 win in the reverse fixture against Slovakia on Thursday night
  • the teams have now played three mutual matches, with two games drawn and Portugal winning for the first time in round 3
  • Thursday’s game was Slovakia’s debut with new coach Jorge Duenas on the bench
  • Slovakia last played the EHF EURO in 2014, after their first participation in the maiden edition in 1994. Portugal have reached the final tournament once, in 2008
20220303 EHF EURO Q Gallery 4

Sweden vs Serbia
Saturday 5 March, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the first leg of this double-header saw a 24:21 win for Serbia — a result which does not quite reflect Serbia's dominance in the match, which they almost entirely controlled
  • goalkeeper Jovana Risovic was outstanding for Serbia in the reverse fixture, making 18 saves at a rate of 47 per cent
  • Serbia have conceded the fewest goals of any of the teams that have played all three rounds of the qualifiers, with just 64 scored against them
  • the teams also met on the path to the EHF EUROs in 2018 and 2014. In 2018, they traded home wins. In 2014, both games ended in draws
  • Thursday night's match was the eighth in history between the sides, and only the fourth game in which a winner emerged. The first four mutual matches ended in draws, since when the record has been two wins apiece

Iceland vs Turkey
Sunday 6 March, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Turkey won their first game in the qualifiers since 2018 when they defeated Iceland 30:29 in the first leg of the double-header, played in Kastamonu
  • Turkey's round 3 victory also made group 6 the only one with all teams holding points in their accounts, as they joined Iceland on two points while Serbia and Sweden each have four
  • Iceland's two points were gained with a superb win over Serbia in October
  • the result in round 3 was the third time in four mutual matches that a match between Iceland and Turkey has ended with a score line of one goal. The only victory of more than one goal was when Iceland won 36:23 in a World Championship qualification game in 2018
  • the overall head-to-head record stands at two wins each

Norway vs Montenegro
Saturday 5 March, 16:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Norway are the Cup leaders ahead of the fourth round of games, with three wins in three matches played so far
  • Montenegro sit second behind Norway, with four points gathered from wins versus their co-hosts Slovenia and North Macedonia
  • Norway won the first leg of the double-header against Montenegro 32:27 in Podgorica
  • the match pits the top scorers of the EHF EURO Cup 2022 against each other: wings Camilla Herrem and Jovanka Radicevic. Herrem has scored 18 for Norway while Radicevic has the same tally for Montenegro

North Macedonia vs Slovenia
Sunday 6 March, 18:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • North Macedonia are the only team yet to collect any points in the EHF EURO Cup, and hope to do so on their home court in Skopje
  • Slovenia won the reverse fixture narrowly, 29:28, to put their first points on the table
  • should Norway extend their perfect run against Montenegro on Saturday, Slovenia will have the chance to draw level with Montenegro on four points
  • Slovenia's biggest star, Ana Gros, scored 10 goals in the home game against North Macedonia

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