Montenegro and Ukraine book last EHF EURO tickets

QUALIFICATION REVIEW 3: Montenegro and Ukraine both qualify, while Hungary and Denmark top Groups 7 and 8

Both Montenegro and Ukraine qualified for EHF EURO 2020

For the first time since 2010 and for the fifth time in total, Ukraine have qualified for a Men’s EHF EURO - despite the clear 21:27 defeat at Montenegro, which sent both sides to the final tournament in Sweden, Norway and Austria. Hungary remained the unbeaten winners of group 8, while Denmark took top position in group 7.

Group 7:

Hungary vs Italy 32:29 (16:14)

The seven goals scored by both Davide Bulzamini and Martin Sonnerer were not enough for the bravely fighting Italians to take their third victory in the qualifiers after beating Slovakia twice. Having the EHF EURO 2020 ticket already in their hands, the unbeaten Hungarians (five victories, one draw against Russia) did not do more than they had to. However the result was another success for Italian handball, especially as the intermediate result was 28:28 six minutes before the end.

Russia vs Slovakia 30:20 (17:8)

Like Hungary, Russia had already booked their EHF EURO ticket before this match - but they gave their fans a great show against Slovakia. The EHF EURO 2022 hosts finished the qualifiers without any points. The best scorers in a one-sided match were Igor Soroko with six strikes for Russia and Martin Briatka with six goals for the Slovaks.

Group 8:

Montenegro vs Ukraine 27:21 (15:7)

It was the match which would determine the final ticket for the EHF EURO 2020 - and finally every goal counted.

Montenegro passed Ukraine to finish in second position in the group after a terrible start to the qualifiers. They took just one point from their first two matches against the Faroe Islands and Ukraine and then had to play catch-up.

In the deciding match, Montenegro started with a 7:3 run and then scored the last four goals before the break to be ahead decisively, 15:7. In the second half, the victory was never in question.

The top scorers were Andrii Akimenko (six for Ukraine) and Stefan Cavor (five for Montenegro).

The visitors finished the qualifiers as the fourth-best third-ranked team, taking the 20th and last ticket for the EHF EURO 2020. Their 29:24 victory against Montenegro in round 2 was enough for Ukraine to stay ahead of Israel on goal differences.

Denmark vs Faroe Islands 31:24 (17:13)

Two Champions League stars - Lasse Andersson (Barcelona) and Jakob Holm (Flensburg) - steered the Danes to their expected clear success against the Faroe Islands with seven goals each. The visitors avoided the relegation round for the EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers thanks to two more goals in their favour compared to Belgium - both sides ended with just one point. Olympic and world champions Denmark won five of six qualification matches and were defeated only by Montenegro.

written by Bjorn Pazen/jh