Czechs and Austrians aim for historic wins

GROUP I PREVIEW: The main round throws off in Vienna as the Czech Republic and Austria hope for their first wins against group winners, Croatia and Spain

The Czech Republic were overjoyed to book their main round spot, but can they beat Spain for the first time ever? Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

With two points each on their starting account, the three preliminary round group winners Spain, Croatia and hosts Austria start their main round campaign at Vienna on Thursday with unbeaten records so far.

Spain will take on the Czech Republic, with Croatia and Austria facing each other in the second match. In the third duel at the Wiener Stadthalle, group B and D runners-ups Belarus and Germany clash.


Spain vs Czech Republic
Thursday 16 January, 16:00 CET, live on ehftv.com

  • the 15:32 loss against Spain two years ago at the EHF EURO in Varazdin was the biggest ever Czech defeat in their EHF EURO history
  • Spain have won all seven official matches against the Czech Republic, including five at EHF EURO final tournaments
  • Spanish right back Alex Dujshebaev is four goals shy of his 50th EHF EURO strike while right wing Ferran Sole is currently on 45 goals
  • EHF EURO 2018 top scorer Ondrej Zdrahala is two goals shy of 75 goals in his European championship career
  • Spain have levelled their longest winning run of six victories and can get a new record on Thursday

Croatia vs Austria
Thursday 16 January, 18:15 CET, live on ehftv.com

  • for the first time ever at any major tournament, Austria finished a preliminary round group on top
  • THW Kiel back court teammates Nikola Bilyk (Austria) and Domagoj Duvnjak (Croatia) clash in this match; Zeljko Musa (Croatia) and Robert Weber (Austria) have played together for many years at SC Magdeburg
  • if Croatia win, they have a new longest winning run with the fifth victory in a row, while Austria’s three victories in a row in 2020 is already a record
  • Austria have never taken a point in an official match against Croatia so far, losing all six duels, including the only EHF EURO match – at Vienna in 2010 (23:26)

Belarus vs Germany
Thursday 16 January, 20.30 CET, live on ehftv.com

  • Belarusian coach Iouri Chetvsov coached in Germany between 1993 and 2008 for clubs including Rhein-Neckar Löwen, and has coached players including German captain Uwe Gensheimer
  • Aliaksandr Padshyvalau is the only Belarusian player currently playing for a German club - GWD Minden
  • this is the 50th EHF EURO match for Andrei Yurinok (Belarus) and the 25th for Johannes Bitter (Germany)
  • the match is the 14th between the two sides; Germany has won 11 of them, tied once and lost once at the EHF EURO 1994 in Portugal
  • the last duel at the EHF EURO was Germany’s 34:26 win in 2008 in Norway
written by Björn Pazen / jh