17 Jun. 2021
The Men’s IHF/EHF Trophy 2021 is in full fledge, with the group stage complete after six games in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Four teams have progressed to the semi-finals, the top two-placed sides in each group, with no surprises so far.
In Group A, Cyprus comfortably beat Bulgaria (29:23) and Andorra (38:16) to seal first place in the group.
Left wing Christos Argyrou, who also spearheaded the superb campaign of Cypriot club Sabbianco Anorthosis Famagusta, reaching the EHF European Cup semi-finals with his team, was the best scorer for his national side, putting 16 goals past his opponents in the two games.
Cyprus scored the most goals in the group phase (67) and had the best goal difference, setting up the path to a final against hosts Georgia.
In the last game of the group, with Cyprus already confirmed in first place, Bulgaria had no trouble against Andorra and outclassed them 38:21.
Group B has also been a one-team affair, with hosts Georgia eyeing to repeat their success from the Men’s IHF Emerging Nations Championship in 2019.
The Georgian side, led by another superb performance from right back Giorgi Tskhovrebadze, the MVP of the Men’s IHF Emerging Nations Championship two years ago, boasted two more comprehensive wins, 36:16 against Azerbaijan and 27:20 against Moldova, to seal first place.
Tskhovrebadze tied Argyrou in the top scorer standings, with 16 goals, while former HC Metalurg Skopje centre back, Irakli Kbilashvili, had a flawless outing against Azerbaijan, scoring 12 goals.
Moldova sealed second place in the group and progressed to the semi-finals after a 28:16 win against Azerbaijan in the last match.
The semi-finals, which take place Friday, 18 June, in Tbilisi, pit Georgia against Bulgaria and Cyprus against Moldova, with the group winners likely to meet in the final.
The 5/6 placement match between Andorra and Azerbaijan is also scheduled for Friday.
For more information on the competition, visit the competition's page on the European Handball Federation website.