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EHF EURO

Seven places still up for grabs in race to EHF EURO 2022

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

Powerhouses such as Hungary, Sweden and Spain will be hoping to secure their place at the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 this week in the fifth round of qualification phase 2 for the final tournament.

While nine of the 16 places have already been secured, seven more spots are still available. Some teams have a good chance of making sure of their places this week, but others might have to wait until the last round at the weekend.

In the EHF EURO Cup, Norway have already won the title and will give young players a chance. Meanwhile Slovenia and Montenegro lock horns to see where they are at before the EHF EURO throws off in November.

GROUP 1

Lithuania vs Poland
Wednesday 20 April, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Poland have already secured their tickets for the EHF EURO 2022, after winning their first two games, while Lithuania are out of contention
  • the guests are on a 10-game winning streak in EHF EURO qualification, their best-ever in the competition
  • with two wins in the last two games against Lithuania and Switzerland, Poland could finish the qualification phase of the EHF EURO with six wins in six games for the first time
  • in the first match between the two sides, Poland secured a convincing 36:22 win
  • Poland have won all four games played against Lithuania in the last 10 years, by an average margin of 18.75 goals per game

GROUP 2

Faroe Islands vs Romania
Wednesday 20 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Romania need two wins against the Faroe Islands and Austria on Sunday to avoid an embarrassing failure to qualify for the EHF EURO for the first time since 2006
  • after missing the last game of the group against Denmark, left back Cristina Neagu will be back into the fold for Romania
  • Romania’s left wing Alexandra Dindiligan is out of contention for the last two games, but SCM Ramnicu Valcea’s Corina Lupei will make her debut for the national team
  • the Faroe Islands have lost all 12 games played in qualification phase 2 of the EHF EURO, including the six they played at home in Torshavn
  • Romania won the two games played against the Faroe Islands, with the two sides also meeting in qualification phase 2 of the EHF EURO 2020, when the Faroe Islands led at half-time, 12:11, only for Romania to mount a comeback, sealing a 25:20 win

Austria vs Denmark
Wednesday 20 April, 20:25 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • unbeaten in three games, Austria will try and take advantage of Denmark already securing their EHF EURO 2022 berth
  • Denmark are the best attack in qualification phase 2 of the EHF EURO 2022, scoring an average of 33.25 goals per game in the four matches played until this point
  • in the last 18 years, Denmark won five of the six games they played against Austria, including the first leg between the two sides in group 2, 27:22
  • Austria are eyeing a comeback at the EHF EURO for the first time since 2008
  • the Scandinavian side are on a 12-game unbeaten streak in qualification for the EHF EURO, with their last loss coming against Russia, in March 2016

GROUP 3

Greece vs Germany
Thursday 21 April, 19:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • following the decision by the Executive Committee of the European Handball Federation to suspend Russia and Belarus from the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, group 4 will conclude in a triple-header in Almere
  • Germany’s new coach, Markus Gaugisch, who replaced Henk Groener, will lead the team for the first time against Greece
  • a win for Germany would see them through to the EHF EURO 2022, their 15th consecutive participation in the competition
  • captain Emily Bölk, who is out with the flu, and backs Alicia Stolle and Lena Degenhart, who are injured, will miss the game
  • in the first leg between the two sides, Germany took a convincing 36:10 win, one of their largest in history in the qualification phase of the EHF EURO
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GROUP 4

Czech Republic vs France
Wednesday 20 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after qualifying for the final tournament of the EHF EURO three consecutive times, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, the Czech Republic are now last in the group, with two losses in two matches, and need a miraculous comeback to progress
  • France have already sealed their place in the tournament, after sweeping their opponents in the first four matches
  • due to a Covid-19 positive test, France’s captain, left wing Coralie Lassource, dropped out of contention and was replaced by Manon Houette
  • France are on a 19-game unbeaten streak in qualification for the EHF EURO, with 18 wins and a draw. Their last loss came in March 2012, against North Macedonia
  • in the first game between the two sides, France earned one of their largest-ever wins in the qualification phase of the EHF EURO, 38:22

Ukraine vs Croatia
Wednesday 20 April, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the game will be played in Graz, Austria, on neutral court
  • EHF EURO 2020 bronze medallists Croatia face a must-win game, after conceding three losses in their first four games, including a 22:23 home loss against Ukraine
  • goalkeeper Tea Pijevic will miss the game, due to an injury, while fellow goalkeeper Ivana Kapitanovic is doubtful, creating a shot-stopping conundrum for Croatia’s coach Nenad Sostaric
  • Ukraine have only played two games since Russia invaded their country, but they are in a good position, needing three wins in their last four matches, despite having to play their home games on neutral court
  • the two sides have met four times in the last 16 years and Ukraine have beaten Croatia twice in the last five years

 

GROUP 5

Slovakia vs Spain
Wednesday 20 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after losing two games against Portugal on his debut as Slovakia’s women’s national team coach, Jorge Duenas will now face Spain, the team he coached between 2007 and 2017
  • ‘Las Guerreras’ will qualify for the EHF EURO 2022 provided they beat Slovakia
  • Spain will welcome back pivotal players like Alexandrina Barbosa, Almudena Rodriguez, Carmen Campos and Kaba Gassama in the roster, after they missed the double-header against Hungary in March
  • left wing Jennifer Gutierrez will miss the last two games of qualification phase 2 and is replaced by Ona Vegue, who will make her debut for Spain
  • Spain are unbeaten against Slovakia since 2015, with five wins and a draw, including friendly matches and the 33:28 win in the first leg between the two sides

Portugal vs Hungary
Thursday, 21 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • provided they do not lose to Portugal, Hungary will be through to the EHF EURO 2022
  • it would be Hungary’s 15th consecutive participation at the EHF EURO
  • Portugal have not qualified for the final tournament of the EHF EURO since 2008, when they finished last, in 16th place
  • Hungary have won the last 10 away games played in EHF EURO qualification, with their last loss coming against Germany in March 2012
  • the two sides have met only once in recent years, when Hungary took a 34:24 win against Portugal in October 2021

GROUP 6

Turkey vs Serbia
Wednesday, 20 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after their home win against Iceland, Turkey are in with a chance to qualify for the first time, but face a must-win home game against Serbia
  • Serbia have lost two matches in the first four games of the qualification phase for the first time since 2010, when they were beaten by Spain twice, but qualified after sealing two wins against Turkey, including 32:30 away
  • Turkey have never won more than a game in the EHF EURO qualification phase since 2014, when they beat Italy twice
  • two wins against Turkey and Iceland would hand Serbia their 12th consecutive berth at the EHF EURO. They last failed to qualify for the final tournament in 1998
  • in the first leg between the two sides, played in Serbia, Turkey stood little chance and conceded a 27:36 loss

Iceland vs Sweden
Wednesday, 20 April, 21:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after losing a crucial game against Turkey, Iceland will hope to get back to their winning ways against Sweden
  • if they win, Sweden will progress to the final tournament of the EHF EURO for the 11th time in a row
  • Wilma Kroon Andersson and Sofie Borjesson will miss the two games against Iceland and Turkey, while goalkeeper Nora Persson makes her debut for Sweden
  • after scoring 19 goals in the first four games of qualification phase 2, Sweden’s right wing Nathalie Hagman needs 19 more to tie Linnea Torstenson with 655 goals as the fourth top scorer in the history of the Scandinavian team
  • the two teams know each other well, having met almost yearly in friendly matches: Sweden have won the last seven games in a row, including a 30:17 drubbing in the first leg
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EHF EURO CUP

Slovenia vs Montenegro
Thursday, 21 April, 17:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after both conceding two losses against Norway, Slovenia and Montenegro will face off for second place
  • Slovenia secured their first win in history in six competitive matches against Montenegro in December 2021 at the IHF Women’s World Championship, 28:18
  • Slovenia will miss several key players, including Barbara Lazovic, Maja Svetik and Branka Zec, while Tamara Mavsar makes her comeback after more than a year after giving birth
  • the game will be played exactly 200 days before the start of the EHF EURO 2022, where Slovenia, Montenegro and North Macedonia are already qualified, as the hosts of the tournament
  • Slovenia’s coach, Montenegrin Dragan Adzic, will face once again his former team, which he coached between 2010 and 2017, winning the EHF EURO 2012 and silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games

North Macedonia vs Norway
Thursday, 21 April, 19:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Norway have already claimed this edition of the Women’s EHF EURO Cup, with two wins against Slovenia and Montenegro each
  • veterans such as Nora Mørk, Kari Brattset Dale, Stine Oftedal, Katrine Lunde, Camilla Herrem and Veronica Kristiansen were not called up by Thorir Hergeirsson
  • instead, young players including Ane Høgseth, Kristina Sirum Novak, Kaja Horst Haugseng, Thale Rushfeldt Deila, Karine Dahlum and Rikke Øyerhamn Larsen will make their debut in a competitive game for Norway
  • North Macedonia are on a six-game losing streak in competitive matches, taking their last win, 20:19, against Greece in qualification for the 2021 IHF Women’s World Championship
  • the two sides have met twice in the last 17 years, with Norway taking a 28:13 win at the EHF EURO 2006 and a 34:22 win at the 2007 IHF Women’s World Championship
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