Iceland's win headlines super Sunday of EHF EURO qualifiers
After an action-packed opening round of fixtures in midweek, Round 2 of the Women's EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers got underway on Saturday afternoon with one Group 1 fixture, before the other 22 sides took to the court on Sunday.
- Poland defeat Switzerland; Netherlands beat Greece; France hold on against a feisty Ukraine; Sweden beat Turkey
- Denmark crush Faroe Islands; Croatia take the points against the Czech Republic; Iceland defeat Serbia
- Spain earn one-goal win vs Portugal; Austria draw with Romania; Germany and Belarus tie; Hungary beat Slovakia
- Norway take second EHF EURO CUP win, against Slovenia; Montenegro beat North Macedonia again
- on Saturday Russia beat Lithuania 35:21
SUNDAY 10 OCTOBER
That brings our Women's EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers coverage to a close - we hope you enjoyed all the fantastic handball we've had today and yesterday.
Our match reviews are a great way of getting the key facts about each of today's games - here they all are.
With two rounds down in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, eight teams have won both matches; four have won one and lost one; Romania and Germany have both won one and drawn one; Austria and Belarus have drawn one and lost one; and eight teams have lost both matches.
Remember, the top two teams from each group will eventually qualify for the final tournament, joining defending champions Norway and hosts Slovenia, Montenegro and North Macedonia. The qualifiers will resume in March 2022.
So, after those 11 EHF EURO qualifiers here's a round-up of the results.
21:59 | FULL-TIME
Montenegro hold on, but it was a much closer match than the first leg between these two sides. However, that puts tonight's hosts second in the EHF EURO CUP table behind Norway with two wins and a goal difference of +9.
Jovanka Radicevic nets her eighth goal of the match and Montenegro stay ahead, but there's still time for North Macedonia to pull back the two-goal deficit.
There's still very little in this match, nearly 10 minutes into the second half. A good save from Ljubica Nenezic keeps Montenegro just one goal up and the home side then score to make it 23:21, but their shooting efficiencies are pretty much identical.
21:07 | HALF-TIME
MONTENEGRO 16:16 NORTH MACEDONIA
It's been a very different first half tonight to that which we had on Thursday, when Montenegro led North Macedonia 13:9 at the break. Today, there's been a lot more goals and nothing in it at the break in terms of the scoreline, although Montenegro have been more accurate in both attack and in saves.
21:00 | FULL-TIME
A dramatic end to the match in Germany, as Belarus are handed a direct free throw on the buzzer. They take a timeout in a bid to win the match - but the shot is from the halfway line, and has no real hope of going in. However a draw is a good result for the visitors and they're thrilled.
It's still tight in Germany - Belarus have equalised again at 20:20 with just over 10 minutes to go.
Montenegro and North Macedonia are also level in the first 10 minutes of their EHF EURO CUP game.
Coming up in less than 10 minutes, the last match of the day - an EHF EURO CUP game between Montenegro and North Macedonia. On Thursday, Montenegro won the first leg and will definitely be hoping to do the same on home turf in Niksic.
20:05 | HALF-TIME
GERMANY 12:13 BELARUS
There's nothing in this one - Belarus have the edge at the break, but either team could yet take it. Julia Maidhof and Karyna Yezhykava lead the scoring, with four goals each.
The last EHF EURO qualifier of the day is well underway, and Belarus are ahead of Germany in a match that has seen both sides hold the lead so far.
19:47 | FULL-TIME
A red card for Alina Ilie in the 58th minute perhaps galvanises Romania, and Ana Maria Tanasie scores to level the match at 32:32. Austria take a timeout, Patricia Kovacs scores with 12 seconds left - but it's not enough, as Romania's top scorer Bianca Maria Bazaliu sends the ball into the net from 9m on the buzzer. Nevertheless, what a match for Austria, and particularly Sonja Frey who got her side back into the game after the break.
An astonishing 10 goals from 10 shots by Simona Szarková was not enough for Slovakia, who kept fighting but were not able to beat a good team performance by Hungary.
19:35 | FULL-TIME
Wild celebrations are going on in Hafnarfjordur as Iceland beat Serbia. In the first official match between these two sides, it's the home team who pick up their first EHF EURO qualifier points - what a performance!
Portugal came agonisingly close to beating their neighbours, but Spain's experience showed when it came to the crunch and they take a second victory in the EHF EURO qualifiers.
Wow, we've had incredible second halves everywhere! Portugal and Spain are level, Austria and Romania are level, Serbia are only a goal behind Iceland.
The Austria vs Romania match has come alight in the second half - 10 minutes in, Austria are level at 20:20. It's a brilliant comeback by the hosts who have scored nine goals since resuming. Romania will need a bit more of this type of play.
Things will start to calm down a bit now (phew!)
But there are still two matches to go. The last EHF EURO qualifier of the day is between Germany and Belarus, and throws off in 20 minutes at 19:30 CEST. The two sides have played each other four times before in the qualifiers, and Germany have won each time; in seven encounters in total, Germany have won six with the seventh match a draw.
19:02 | HALF-TIME
AUSTRIA 11:16 ROMANIA / SLOVAKIA 14:13 HUNGARY
Slovakia lost in round 1 but have picked themselves up against Hungary - they've only won two matches against Hungary in nine previous meetings. It's far from over. Romania seem to be on track for a second win as they hold a handy lead against Austria.
Norway made that one look harder than they probably ought to have done, but take a second win in the EHF EURO CUP.
18:56 | FULL-TIME
The Croatians get to do their celebratory dance after a good second half, that gives them their first win - these points could be important later on. The Czechs look a bit downcast, although they played well and produced some excellent shots like this one from Veronika Mala earlier.
Elin Thorsteindottir is definitely helping Iceland in their match against Serbia - this is an incredible penalty save.
18:43 | FULL-TIME
Denmark deliver a comprehensive victory against the Faroe Islands - there was just nothing the Faroes could do. A big win for Denmark puts them top of group 2.
18:35 | HALF-TIME
ICELAND 10:8 SERBIA
Iceland really need a win and they've had a great first half against Serbia in a busy hall in Hafnarfjordur. Coincidentally, Iceland's last appearance at the EHF EURO was in 2012, in Serbia!
PORTUGAL 11:14 SPAIN
Portugal are playing well again but Spain are stronger and look on track to secure a second straight win, after beating Slovakia in the week. Three goals can easily be made up though!
18:30 | FULL-TIME
A 3:0 run at the beginning of the second half was important for Sweden to give them a buffer to withstand the Turkish attacks, and they mostly held on to the six-goal advantage throughout the rest of the match before easing away in the closing minutes. Daniela De Jong netted the winning goal into an empty net.
For much of the second half if looked as though Ukraine were going to produce another big upset and beat the Olympic champions and European silver medallists. But France held on to draw level and then ahead again by three with 60 seconds left, giving them their second win.
Around Europe there's a lot of handball going on.
Sweden look comfortable against Turkey. Ukraine have moved into the lead against France - are they on for another upset?
Iceland have taken the lead against Serbia, while Spain are currently looking good against Spain.
18:10 | HALF-TIME
SLOVENIA 11:12 NORWAY
Slovenia had a brilliant start against the defending champions in the EHF EURO CUP, before Norway gathered some composure to eke out a narrow lead. But it's much closer than many would have expected!
18:05 | HALF-TIME
CZECH REPUBLIC 14:14 CROATIA
Croatia and the Czech Republic both lost their first games, and the pressure is really on to deliver a win in this round. The 2020 bronze medallists are struggling in attack, with a lower efficiency than their rivals, but have held on to keep things level at the break.
Markéta Jerábková is really shining for the Czechs with eight goals from 12 shots, a remarkable performance in 30 minutes.
17:54 | HALF-TIME
FAROE ISLANDS 5:18 DENMARK
This is the first time the Faroese women have played Denmark and although seven of their team play club handball in Denmark, they're finding it a tough ask. Denmark have raised their level since their match against Austria in the week, which they should probably have won more easily.
There is a good crowd in the lovely intimate arena in Torshavn, however!
More games start soon - at 18:00 CEST, Iceland host Serbia in group 6, and it's an Iberian derby in group 5 between Portugal and Spain. Then at 18:10 CEST Austria play Romania, with Slovakia throwing off against Hungary at 18:15 CEST.
So. Much. Handball.
17:38 | HALF-TIME
TURKEY 12:15 SWEDEN
Turkey almost scored with a direct free throw before the half was officially over, but missed. However, the hosts are putting up a good fight against a much more experienced Swedish side.
UKRAINE 15:16 FRANCE
Also putting up a good fight are Ukraine, who did not get discouraged by France's early lead and have got right back into the match. Iryna Glibko is on form, scoring five of the home team's goals. France need to watch out for Ukraine's second half, which is what gave them the win on Thursday against Croatia.
17:28 | FULL-TIME
Greece produced a better second half, taking a few more goals towards the end of the match as the Netherlands eased off the gas. For now, the Netherlands move top of group 3 - pending the result of Germany's meeting with Belarus later.
Meline Nocandy is having a great game so far, scoring five times inside 20 minutes as the Olympic champions set up a handy four-goal lead against Ukraine. France are not playing flawlessly, but so far are proving too strong for their opponents.
So, a little round-up of where things stand:
- the Netherlands are cruising against Greece, with the hosts yet to hit double digits on the scoreline
- Turkey and Sweden are tied in the early stages in their first official encounter
- France have the early advantage against Ukraine. The hosts come off a shock win against Croatia on Thursday
Now the action really starts to hot up, with five matches throwing off between 17:00 CEST and 17:30 CEST.
At 17:00, Turkey host Sweden in group 6 and Ukraine host France in group 4. Turkey lost their first match to Serbia, while Sweden beat Iceland; Ukraine and France both have one win so the victor will top their group.
At 17:15 the Faroe Islands host Denmark in group 2; the Czech Republic hosts Croatia at 17:20; and at 17:30, Slovenia throw off against Norway in the EHF EURO CUP. Neither the Czechs nor Croatia have a win yet.
16:37 | HALF-TIME
GREECE 6:21 NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands are putting on a dominant performance against Greece, not letting their hosts get near the goal. It would take a miracle for Greece to get back on terms in the second half - the question really is how much will the Dutch win by?
16:30 | FULL-TIME
Poland showed their power in the second half, limiting their hosts to only seven goals and everyone on the team except for goalkeeper Adriana Placzek scoring - even Placzek's fellow goalkeeper Weronika Gawlik found the net.
In contrast only eight Swiss players scored, with Kerstin Kündig and Xenia Hodel both netting five times.
Poland came roaring out of the blocks in the second half, with a 4:0 run before Switzerland were able to score again. The visitors now have a seven-goal lead and look to be on their way to a second win.
Also quick out of the blocks are the Netherlands, who forced Greece into a timeout after less than three minutes after they scored three times from the buzzer.
Remember EHFTV allows you to watch up to four matches in one screen. Neat.
As the second half between Switzerland and Poland throws off, a reminder that the next match of the day is imminent. Greece host the Netherlands in group 3. The hosts have never qualified for an EHF EURO and have lost their two previous meetings with the Dutch; they are also coming off a brutal 10:36 loss to Germany on Thursday. The Netherlands won their round 1 qualifier, beating Belarus 38:27.
Catch the match at 16:00 CEST on EHFTV.
15:40 | HALF-TIME
SWITZERLAND 13:15 POLAND
The Swiss fans are encouraging their team to a close fight with Poland. There's lots of "Hopp Schwiiz" being shouted. Poland lead by two, and Kinga Achruk is top scorer so far with three goals.
Poland have the lead, but only by one goal. This continues to be a bit of a scrappy match with technical errors from both sides.
It's been a slow start to the match. Poland took almost three minutes to find the goal and so far their hosts have been more aggressive.
In his first timeout, Poland coach Arne Senstad tells his team they are starting too slow and urges more attack. It's 4:3 to Switzerland.
Throw off is now only minutes away.
The first match at 15:00 CEST is a group 1 clash between Switzerland and Poland. In round 1, Poland had a comfortable 36:22 win against Lithuania, while Switzerland lost away to Russia, 22:26. Russia won against Lithuania yesterday so currently top the table with four points and a goal difference of +18.
Poland and Switzerland have played each other three times, all in World Championship qualifiers, with Switzerland losing each time. Poland will go into today as the favourites to take their second victory.
Welcome back to the Women's EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers live blog. We have the most packed afternoon of action so far, with 11 games ahead - plus two EHF EURO CUP matches of course. Here's the schedule, so time to plan what you want to watch!
SATURDAY 9 OCTOBER
We'll leave you today with a reminder of our result! Come back tomorrow to see the rest of Round 2 in the EHF EURO 2022 qualification, AND the EHF EURO Cup!
Missed any of the action? Not to worry, here's the review of today's Group 1 match...
Let's take a look at the player stats from the game! No surprise that Elena Mikhaylichenko was named POTM for top-scoring in the game AND having a 100% shot rate!
As they say in Russia, molodets!
It's a clear victory for Russia! They leave Lithuania with a 35:21 win in the bag!
Thanks to great team-play like this, Russia are heading to 4 points in Group 1
It'll take a minor miracle for Lithuania to turn this around... let's see if this time-out will bring them any joy!
Russia have a 10-goal advantage now, 25:15 with 16 minutes remaining.
Enjoy some of the best photos from the first half, below...
Second half just moments away, remember you can watch the match live on EHFTV.
That's half-time! Lithuania trail Russia, 10:17.
It's not just goals that build leads... it's saves down the other end!
"Hey, I'm telling you, EHF EURO live blog is awesome!"
I'm guessing that's what's being said... anyway, Russia lead 8:13 after a timeout.
The visitors Russia have the better of the opening exchanges, they lead 12:6.
Just FYI... we're underway! And also just FYI, this 7m went in to give Russia the opening goal of the game!
First up, Lithuania meet Russia in Klaipeda!
Russia began their Group 1 campaign beating Switzerland 26:22. Lithuania, on the other hand, were beaten 36:22 by Poland.
HERE WE GO!
Round 2 is moments from getting underway! Stay up-to-date right here on our live blog, watch live on EHFTV, and check out our social media channels @EHFEURO for all your EURO 2022 qualifier needs!