NewsDetails

Date: 10/3/2017
 

The first two rounds of the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 qualification wrapped up on Sunday October 1.

 

The qualification for what is the 13th women’s European championship will be played over six rounds, with 28 teams split into four playing groups, from which the top two teams proceed to the final tournament in France next December. The best third-ranked team from all playing groups will claim the last place at the continental championship.

 

After the first two rounds of qualification matches, current world and European champions Norway, Poland, Montenegro, Sweden, Serbia, Romania, Denmark, Spain, Netherlands and Hungary all tally two wins from two matches.

 

Norway showed they are in excellent form to defend their world title in December in Germany, in what were the last official international matches prior to the World Championship. They beat Ukraine at home 35:22 before travelling to Switzerland, where they won 29:12.

 

Faroe Islands and Kosovo are both playing qualification Phase 2 for the first time, and as such encountered a significant challenge against their favoured rivals. Both recorded two losses in their opening games.

 

2016 Olympic champions Russia started their campaign with a victory at home against Portugal (32:25), before being the subject of one of the biggest surprises of the phase in Round 2, when they lost to Austria 25:27 on Saturday.

 

Another surprise in the opening rounds of qualification was Lithuania’s strong performance. The team have only made it to one EHF EURO before, in 1996 – three years after they contested what is their only World Championship so far. Lithuania were therefore not the favoured side in either of their encounters, but recorded a draw against Germany after leading most of the game. In the second round, Lithuania were level with EHF EURO 2014 silver medallists Spain through to the 50th minute, though their opponents claimed the win in the end.

 

The next rounds of Women’s EHF EURO 2018 Qualification will be played in March 2018, followed by the final matches in May and June next year. More information is available on the official website

 

Photo: Royal Spanish Handball Federation

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