The knockout stages start, who will be in or out at the end of today?

24 Jun. 2022

The knockout stages start, who will be in or out at the end of today?

With three of the four quarter-finals all taking place at the same time (12:20 EEST), the 2022 IHF Women’s World Championship is certainly action-packed on Saturday, the penultimate day of action on the Heraklion sand.

Host nation Greece play Argentina, Spain take on Brazil and Portugal will line up against Germany on the outside court, court 3, ahead of Denmark and Netherlands clashing at 13:10.

But today is not all about Greece 2022. The top five teams in the championship will automatically qualify for the 2023 ANOC World Beach Games.

This means that all teams who win their quarter-finals will qualify and the 5-8 placement round this afternoon takes on an extra element. The second edition of the global multisport event will be held in Bali, Indonesia next August.

At the European championship last year, Germany took down Portugal 2-0 on their way to continental gold and it will be hard to look past the Germans in their quarter-final clash today. 

Both of Portugal’s senior teams are making their World Championship debut in Greece and both have made the quarter-finals.

“It feels amazing,” said Portugal’s Leonor Gonçalves to, moments after coming off the sand and confirming their quarter-final place.

“It's an excellent feeling to be in the top eight teams of world. It's a very new team, we started just two or three years ago. It's a wonderful feeling being so high up the ranking.”

European champions Germany are the only team in Greece to have won all six of their games 2-0 without dropping a period, unlike Greece who have also won their six, but have dropped a few periods along the way.

The last World Championship saw Brazil beat Spain in the bronze-medal match in Kazan. That medal ensured a run of podium finishes in every event for the South Americans since their second one, in 2006, when they won their first gold.

Denmark won the debut ANOC World Beach Games in 2019 and finished behind Greece to go into their all-European clash against Netherlands full of confidence.

After the morning session has completed, the semi-finalists will be known with those two games taking place at 19:10 and 20:00.

The penultimate day also features four 9-16 placement round games in the morning, with five continents in action. The favourites to win are from Europe and in unchartered territory – they will finish in their lowest-ever rankings – Hungary playing USA and Norway taking on Australia.

The top two goalscorers in the women’s championship are both in the 9-16 placement round, with Marielle Elisabeth Mathisen Martinsen on 102 points in six games (17 per game) and Christine Mansour from the USA on 100 (16.67).

Denmark have scored the most points, with 289 in their six games so far (48.10), with Germany conceding the fewest (168). Greece’s ‘Magical Magda’ (Magdalini Kepesidou) is the best goalkeeper, with 52 saves from 173 shots faced.

In the afternoon and evening session, the losers of the quarter-finals will play off and the 9-16 placement round splits into 9-12 and 13-16 competitions.