After two days of thrilling matches, everything will be decided on the final day of Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament II in Malmö. The first game of the day will be the most decisive, with Sweden meeting Spain before Iran take on Slovenia. By the time the final whistle sounds in Malmö Arena both teams to qualify for Rio 2016 will be known, and one powerhouse European side will have to farewell their Olympic dream.
Sunday April 10 in Malmö Arena, Malmö
Sweden vs Spain 16:30 local time
Sweden enter the match against Spain sitting on four points at the top of the table, while Spain take to the court on a much more precarious two points. For the home team the case is simple – win and secure a place at the 2016 Olympic Games, and Sweden’s vocal fans in Malmö Arena can be sure to do everything to help their side achieve the crucial victory.
Spain on the other hand are playing for not just a win, but a victory by three goals or more, which will qualify the 2013 world champions for the Games.
With so much at stake and two of the best teams in the world meeting on court, the stage is set for 60 thrilling minutes to start Sunday’s matches in Malmö with a bang. Fans can expect both teams to be at the top of the game, which should result in a superb demonstration of defence, a contest between some of the top goalkeepers in men’s handball right now, and an attacking display of powerful outside shooters and fast, reliable wings.
Slovenia vs Iran 18:45 local time
Slovenia have played a strong tournament so far to open with a win against Spain before losing by just one goal (23:24) to Sweden in their second match. With a noticeable absence in the form of perennial top scorer Dragan Gajic, Slovenia have had the chance to showcase some of their younger talents with players such as Jure Dolenec standing out in both matches, and creative centre back Dean Bombac currently on 100 per cent shooting accuracy.
Slovenia are considered the strong favourites to emerge as victors from this meeting, which will secure their place in Rio no matter the outcome of the previous match. But Iran have shown they are not an easy obstacle to overcome as they have kept pace reasonably well through both of their games so far. Goalkeeper Mohammad Siavoshishahenayati was particularly strong against Spain, coming in in the second half to make 10 saves and finish with a rate of 34 per cent.