Preliminary Round on 2022 EHF EURO has come to an end which means we are now turning towards the Main Round which will eventually give us four semi-finalists. And while Main Round is looking more levelled than ever, let's take a quick look back on everything that has happened in the Preliminary Round.
In Group A Macedonians didn't manage to win a single point. Denmark advances through as well as one of the surprises of the tournament so far - Montenegro which was in a direct encounter better than Slovenia.
In Group B we've already said goodbye to one of the hosts - Hungary. Although Hungarians were favorites to go far this time in front of their own fans they didn't manage to defeat Iceland and Netherlands, another huge surprise of this EURO, both of which will play in the Main Round as well.
In 'SEHA' Group C, France managed to secure three victories, Croatia was better than Serbia and Ukraine while Serbia came out on top versus Ukrainians.
In Group D Belarus failed to secure one of first two positions falling short against both Germany and Poland. In their first appearance on this tournament, they were however better than Austria.
In Group E Spain and Sweden go through ahead of both Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Finally, in Group F, Russia managed to stun Norway advancing through as first-placed team after the Preliminary Round. Slovakia didn't manage to get through at home but they’ve managed to secure one win defeating Lithuania.
Croatia that way remains only SEHA – Gazprom league participating national team that is still in the competition. Here we must also highlight some of our individual performers – Aidenas Malasinskas is third on the scorers list with 21, Kentin Mahe has second fastest shot of the tournament so far with 139 km/h, Eurofarm’s playmaker Josip Peric is third when it comes to number of passes with 568 while Mikita Vailupau shares the top spot of the list of individual playing time with 178 minutes.
Main Round starts on Thursday. No one can afford to have a bad day anymore. Each goal and each save matter and it will be interesting to see which four teams will eventually qualify for the semi-finals where, as we all know, anything is possible. Stay tuned!
MR Group 1: Denmark (2), France (2), Iceland (2), Netherlands, CROATIA, Montenegro.
MR Group 2: Germany (2), Spain (2), Russia (2), Norway, Sweden, Poland.
Photo credit: Kolektiff Images