22/01/2020

Last to board the plane to Stockholm: Slovenia or Hungary?

GROUP II PREVIEW: Arguably the biggest surprise of the EHF EURO 2020, Hungary are racing Slovenia for the last semi-final berth on the final day of competition in Malmö

Roland Mikler's Hungary need to beat Portugal to stand a chance of the semi-finals. Photo © Nebojsa Tejic / kolektiff

The last main round day at the EHF EURO 2020 will decide the final semi-final berth, with Group II the star attraction as Hungary and Slovenia battle for the one place remaining in Stockholm for the final weekend.

Norway’s semi-final berth was confirmed late on Tuesday night, following Sweden’s victory against Hungary. They joined Spain and Croatia as the Group I semi-finalists. On the Group II table, Norway can only be passed by Slovenia, and the lowest they can finish is second.

The final ticket to the semi-finals is available to Hungary or Slovenia. If Hungary lose to Portugal, their chance is over and Slovenia will be confirmed semi-finalists before they take the court against Norway.

If Hungary defeat Portugal, Slovenia must take at least a point against Norway.  

The main round in Malmö Arena will wrap up with Iceland and tournament co-hosts Sweden playing their final match of the competition.

GROUP II

Portugal vs Hungary
Wednesday 22 January, 16:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Hungary bring four points into the match, and remain in the running for the semi-finals – but they need a win and for Slovenia to lose to Norway in order to make it
  • with two points in their account, Portugal sit too far behind the Group II leaders to secure a semi-final berth
  • Portugal can book a place in the play-off for fifth if they defeat Hungary. This result would see Portugal assured of their best finish ever at the EHF EURO
  • goalkeeper Roland Mikler has been one of the most important players for Hungary, with 56 saves, placing him fourth overall at the EURO in this statistic
  • Hungary and Portugal have met just three times in official matches and once at the EHF EURO, with Hungary edging Portugal by one at the very first edition in 1994

Norway vs Slovenia
Wednesday 22 January, 18:15 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Norway are on eight points before the match against Slovenia, while Slovenia are on six
  • unbeaten Norway’s berth in the semi-finals was confirmed when Hungary lost to Sweden in the final game on Tuesday night
  • if Hungary lose or draw with Portugal in the opening clash of the day, Slovenia will be through to the semi-finals. If Hungary win, Slovenia must take a point to rank among the top four
  • Norway centre back Sander Sagosen is the clear top scorer of the EURO, with 51 goals ahead of the final main round day. His nearest rival is Austria’s Nikola Bilyk, with 39
  • the teams have met twice at EHF EUROs, with one win apiece. Overall, Norway have won four matches against Slovenia and Slovenia have emerged victorious three times

Iceland vs Sweden
Wednesday 22 January, 20:30 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • neither Sweden nor Iceland can reach the final weekend in Stockholm, but the co-hosts want to end their home EURO with a victory
  • in 18 matches between the sides, stretching from 1961 to the EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia, Sweden have won 13 and Iceland have taken five victories
  • Iceland captain Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, who will play his 59th EHF EURO match on Wednesday, affirms that his side also want to finish their campaign with a positive result
  • at 40 years of age, Sigurdsson has said this may be his last EURO – therefore, this may be his last match. He is the all-time top scorer in the event, with 284 goals in two decades of participation. He has also played the second highest number of EURO matches, behind France’s Nikola Karabatic
written by ehf-euro.com