EHF Team Week recap: Croatia qualify for EHF Euro 2020, points for North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

EHF Team Week

It was a very eventful week in European handball for SEHA countries and players, read how it all played out.

In Group 2, Croatia and Serbia played two matches in the past few days, and the EHF Euro 2018 hosts got the better out of the two countries. First, Serbia showed their toughness in Belgrade, by earning a 25:25 draw, on the wings of Vardar's Milosavljev, Ilic, Kukic and Pesic. For Croatia, Duvnjak scored 6, while SEHA – Gazprom League players also played well. Karacic had 3 goals, Bozic Pavletic and Sipic scored 2, and Mandic added 1. In the second match in Zadar, Croatia won 27:23 and qualified for the European Championship with two more matches to be played. In that encounter, Strlek scored 8 goals, Bozic Pavletic had 3, Mandic and Karacic 2, while Sipic scored once. For Serbia, Sretenovic scored 2 goals.

In Group 3, North Macedonia also earned three points, very important for the next matches. First, Brestovac's debut was spectacular as Manaskov scored in the last seconds to beat Iceland away 34:33, despite Palmarsson's 12 goals. For the away team, Georgievski and Manaskov scored 8 each, Lazarov had 6, Stoilov netted 4 times and Metalurg's Tankoski scored once. The rematch was equally exciting, as it finished 24:24 in Skopje. Kiril Lazarov once again led his team with 8 goals, as North Macedonia now have 5 points on their tally.

In the same group, Can Celebi scored two goals in each of the two wins for Turkey versus Greece.

In Group 4, Slovenia also qualified for the Euro. Meshkov's Vid Poteko scored 1 goal and then 4 in two wins against the Netherlands. PPD Zagreb's Urh Kastelic was also in action. SEHA players were also in Latvia and Estonia. Latvia earned two 6-goal wins against Estonia, and the 2019 SEHA Final 4 MVP Kristopans scored 7 goals in total. For Estonia, Steaua's Johannson had 3 goals in two matches.

Group 5 saw Bosnia and Herzegovina sit on top with 6 points, after two wins versus Finland. 30:26 and 31:19. PPD Zagreb's Senjamin Buric was one of the most important players, with 4 big goals in each match. Over 3,000 people spectated the match in Tuzla, and Bosnia and Herzegovina now have a very comfortable position ahead of next matches against Belarus and Czech Republic.

Those two opponents played two narrow matches, each team winning away. First, Yurynok and Shylovich with 5 goals each, and Baranau with 3 lead Belarus to a victory in Plzen. For Czech Republic, Hrstka netted 4 times, Cip scored 3 and Horak added 1 goal. In the second encounter, Czechs were better in Minsk. Hrstka once again scored 4 goals, Horak had 3 goals and Cip had 1. For the hosts Baranau was the best with 5 goals, Yurynok scored 3 and Shylovich twice.

In Group 6, Romania earned one win over Lithuania, 28:23. However, they later lost to the same opponent in Lithuania, which means they still have 2 points on their tally. Grigoras stood out with 14 goals in two rounds.

Slovakia recorded two surprising losses to Italy, both with the same result 23:26. They still have 0 points with two more matches to be played. Hungary are the first in that Group 7, with 7 points after a win and a draw against Russia. It was 25:19 in the first match, and Dibirov scored 5 goals for Russia and his Vardar teammates also played. Kiselev had 3 goals and Gorbok scored 1. In the second match it was 23:23, Vardar players were even better, scoring 19 goals in total. Dibirov and Kalarash scored 6 goals each, Shishkarev had 5 and Kiselev added 2.

Montenegro recorded one of the biggest wins in their history, defeating the World and Olympic champions at home in Moraca.