Kündig stars as Switzerland among sides to progress
Centre back Kerstin Kündig fired in 11 goals for Switzerland against Faroe Islands, helping her side to record a 26:18 win and qualify for the next qualification phase of the 2021 IHF Women's World Championship.
- like Switzerland, Italy have also qualified for the next phase after winning their first match – but they had a tough battle against Kosovo
- Slovakia and North Macedonia are both through to the next phase after clear victories against Israel and Lithuania respectively
- Belarus and Austria advanced without playing on Saturday
While Slovakia and Israel both recorded reasonably narrow victories in group 1 on Friday, Slovakia dominated proceedings when the two teams met on Saturday. 18-year-old Barbora Lancz scored 10 goals for Slovakia as her side won 37:19. Meanwhile, in the group's other match, Ukraine defeated Luxembourg 28:21, which means that the clash between Ukraine and Israel on Sunday will decide second place in group 1.
In the clash between the winners of Friday’s matches in group 2, North Macedonia enjoyed a wide-margin victory against Lithuania in Skopje. Although Lithuania made a positive start and led 4:3 after five minutes, North Macedonia asserted their authority with a 5:0 run midway through the first half. With Sara Ristovska scoring eight goals in the match, the hosts extended their advantage in the second half and sealed a 31:21 win. As Iceland convincingly defeated Greece 31:19 later on, North Macedonia's place in the next phase was confirmed and Sunday's match between Lithuania and Iceland will decide which side finishes as runners-up in group 2.
After Kosovo lost 26:20 in group 4 versus Austria on Friday, Kosovo faced a must-win match against Italy. While Kosovo fought hard throughout and only trailed by one goal at half-time, Italy held their nerve in the closing stages. Italy's 24:22 win against Kosovo means that both Italy and Austria have qualified for the next qualification phase.
In group 5, the Faroe Islands were in a similar situation to Kosovo. Having lost their first match in a three-team group, the Faroe Islands had to beat Switzerland. But with Kerstin Kündig scoring a total 11 goals, Switzerland were never in danger and recorded an eight-goal win (26:18) to seal their place in the second phase.