Final main round berths to be delivered in full card at Slovenia 2022

24 Jun. 2022

Final main round berths to be delivered in full card at Slovenia 2022

The curtain will fall on the preliminary round at the 23rd IHF Women’s Junior World Championship on Saturday when the 32 participating teams will feature in the three arenas in Celje and Lasko in a 16-game card.

Six teams – Japan, Sweden, France, Norway, Germany and Slovenia – have already earned safe passage to the next round, while ten other spots are available and ready to be picked up by the teams, with crunch clashes scheduled for Saturday.

While Denmark, Romania, Croatia and Hungary have won their first two games, they are still not assured safe passage to the main round, however, they hold a big advantage over potential underdogs that can challenge for their spot, affording to lose by a certain amount of goals, yet still going through.

With the points taken against the other qualified team in the group being carried into the main round, the games between France and Norway in Group D and Germany and Slovenia in Group F will also be paramount for the fate of the said teams in the tournament.



  • India vs Slovakia (12:30 CEST, Zlatorog Arena, Celje)
  • Netherlands vs Japan (20:30 CEST, Zlatorog Arena, Celje)

After comfortably beating fellow Asian team India on Thursday (41:23), Japan clinched their spot in the main round, and even a draw against Netherlands will secure their top position in the group.

For the Dutch team, one point in this match will be enough to go through. The third-placed Slovakia, who split points with Netherlands (27:27) on Thursday, also keep their hopes to progress alive. However, their goal difference is -12, while Netherlands have +28, so Slovakia need a big win against India and Netherlands' defeat against Japan.



  • Tunisia vs Guinea (12:30 CEST, Tri Lilije Hall, Lasko)
  • Sweden vs Islamic Republic of Iran (16:30 CEST, Zlatorog Arena, Celje)

Sweden are already through – and given their +36 goal difference compared to Tunisia's -2, there is no doubt that they will finish top of the group. On Friday, the Nordic team will be strong favourites against the debutants Islamic Republic of Iran.

An all-African clash between Tunisia and Guinea will be crucial for both teams. Even a draw will see Tunisia through to the main round, while Guinea need a win to climb to the second position. In turn, Islamic Republic of Iran need an unlike scenario of their win against Sweden and Guinea's victory against Tunisia to progress.



  • Montenegro vs Italy (14:30 CEST, Tri Lilije Arena, Laško)
  • Denmark vs Argentina (18:30 CEST, Zlatorog Arena, Celje)

Denmark can earn safe passage even if they lose by no more than seven goals against Argentina, yet the South American side desperately needs more firepower in their back line, after key player Martina Lang tore her ACL in a friendly game against Slovenia, just before the start of the competition.

Argentina conceded an 11-goal loss against Montenegro, which basically cancelled their five-goal win against Italy at the start of the preliminary round, despite a strong 5:0 start, that prevented the European side to score in the first ten minutes. With Denmark eager to pounce on fast breaks – they scored nine goals in the first two matches – Argentina must be careful if they want to keep their counterparts in check.

Montenegro will go through with a win, but can also afford to lose by five goals against Italy if Denmark beat Argentina in the last game of the group in the Zlatorog Arena in Celje. Italy have shown true grit and a great spirit throughout the competition, but their fate is almost sealed. The two sides have also met last November in the European Qualifications in Podgorica, with Montenegro taking a hard-fought 26:24 win.



  • Brazil vs Republic of Korea (12:30 CEST, Golovec Arena, Celje)
  • France vs Norway (14:30 CEST, Golovec Arena, Celje)

The two qualified teams for the group are already decided, France and Norway, as the two European powerhouses face off in a crucial match in the Golovec Arena in Celje. At stake, there is not only the first place in the group but, more importantly, the two points that the winner will take in the main round. France have been one of the standout teams in the competition, dominating their opponents with ease and delivering the Republic of Korea one of their worst-ever losses in the competition.

In such a balanced group, France’s +32 goal difference is nothing short of spectacular, as their defence has been towering, powered by a goalkeeping masterclass from Melanie Halter and Jemima Kabeya Tshisola, who saved 40.9% of the shots they faced in the competition. On the other hand, Norway will try to cancel France’s advantages with their fast-paced game and trademark fast breaks.

In the other match, the Republic of Korea, who will finish outside the top 10 of the IHF Women’s Junior World Championship for the first time in history, try to avenge their two defeats against Brazil, who had little to offer in the first matches in Celje.



  • Angola vs Lithuania (10:30 CEST, Golovec Arena, Celje)
  • Romania vs Czech Republic (16:30 CEST, Golovec Arena, Celje)

After their huge, unexpected 11-goal win against the Czech Republic on Friday, Angola are poised to progress to the main round at Slovenia 2022 with a win against Lithuania. Another win in the final stages of the preliminary round would position the African side to try and secure their first-ever top 10 finish at the IHF Women’s Junior World Championship.

On the other side, the Czech Republic need a miracle against Romania to progress to the next phase of the competition. A win by eight goals or more would see the Czech side through after their total collapse against Angola in a game that saw the European team take a 3:0 lead in the first five minutes.

Left back Charlotte Cholevova, the second-best scorer in the competition, with 19 goals in two matches, will be the focal point of the Czech Republic’s attack. However, Romania, who are on a two-game winning streak, are definitely favoured to progress to the main round, where they will start with two points if they qualify, courtesy of their 26:23 win against Angola on Wednesday.



  • Germany vs Slovenia (18:30 CEST, Golovec Arena, Celje)
  • Chile vs Mexico (20:30 CEST, Golovec Arena, Celje)

Chile and Mexico are playing for pride and to secure a better finish at the 2022 IHF Women’s Junior World Championship, after losing their first two games against Germany and Slovenia. While Chile won at least one match in each of the previous two editions of the competition they took part in, Mexico are still searching for their first win in 12 years, after conceding 79 goals in the first two matches, the third-largest amount at Slovenia 2022.

Hosts Slovenia enjoyed a two-game winning streak to start the tournament and already progressed to the main round alongside Germany, but this will be their first true test in the competition. Boosted by left back Erin Novak and line player Valentina Klemencic, who combined for 25 of their team’s 66 goals, the hosts will be facing a team that conceded only 32 goals in the first two matches and whose fast breaks have been a crucial source of goals. The winner will take two points into the main round, where they will face the two qualified teams from Group E.



  • Kazakhstan vs Austria (16:30 CEST, Tri Lilije Hall, Lasko)
  • Croatia vs Switzerland (18:30 CEST, Tri Lilije Hall, Lasko)

With the maximum of four points after two matches, Croatia can be practically certain of progressing to the main round. Switzerland and Austria are level on two points, but although the Swiss team is now ranked second on a goal difference, Austria have a better chance to advance. On Saturday, they will be strong favourites against Kazakhstan, and a win will almost definitely see them going through. Switzerland, who comfortably beat Kazakhstan on Friday, also may progress, but they will have a hard time against Croatia, while Kazakhstan hardly have a realistic chance to reach the main round.



  • Hungary vs Poland (14:30 CEST, Zlatorog Arena, Celje)
  • Egypt vs USA (20:30 CEST, Tri Lilije Hall, Lasko)

Egypt's hard-fought but deserved win against Poland on Friday (27:25) made the situation in this group a bit more complicated. Defending champions Hungary, who have a maximum of four points after two matches, need at least a draw in an all-European clash against Poland to reach the main round.

Egypt, who are seen as favourites against USA, have a good chance to finish second even despite having a -17 goal difference after two matches. In turn, Poland have a +21 goal difference, but to go through, they will most likely need to beat Hungary, which is a hard task.