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EHF EURO

Cyprus, Georgia qualify for EHF EURO 2024 relegation round

EHF / Eric Willemsen

Cyprus and Georgia have secured their places in the relegation round ahead of the Men's EHF EURO 2024 qualifiers.

Both teams advanced to the final of the IHF/EHF Trophy 2021 in Tbilisi on Friday. The three top-ranked teams in this tournament will qualify for the EHF EURO 2024 relegation round, which is scheduled for January 2022.

On Friday, Cyprus edged Moldova 30:28 as only a last-minute penalty forced a decision. In the second semi-final, hosts Georgia claimed a commanding 32:19 win over Bulgaria.  

The final is scheduled for Saturday at 17:00 CEST.

SEMI-FINALS:

Cyprus vs Moldova 30:28 (14:11)

  • Cyprus were in control of the game in the first half and enjoyed a three-goal lead after the opening 30 minutes
  • but Moldova found their stride after the break, and the outcome of the match was still open when Cyprus led by just one goal (29:28) going into the last minute
  • a penalty converted by Cyprus left wing Christos Argyrou with half a minute on the clock finally decided the match
  • Argyrou scored eight times in total for Cyprus, but Moldova's Roman Zacaciurin was by far the best scorer of the match, with 13 goals

Georgia vs Bulgaria 32:19 (22:11)

  • Georgia had a dream start into the match, going 7:2 up in just over six minutes' time
  • the hosts had already all but secured their place in the final after the first half, leading by 11 goals at the break
  • the rather low-scoring second half, with just 18 goals compared to 33 in the first half, was more balanced but Georgia's win was never in danger
  • Georgia's Georgi Tskhovrebadze was the leading scorer with eight goals, while Nikolay Neychev netted five times for Bulgaria

Alongside Cyprus and Georgia, a third team will earn a place in the EHF EURO 2024 relegation round: the winner of the bronze medal match between Moldova and Bulgaria on Saturday at 14:30 CEST.

These three teams will join five other teams in the relegation round: Luxembourg, who were directly seeded, and Belgium, Turkey, Finland and Latvia, who were the four worst fourth-ranked teams in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers.

The relegation round will be carried out in January 2022 with four play-off pairings. A date for the draw will be announced by the EHF in due time.

Also on Saturday, Azerbaijan and Andorra are set to meet in the 5/6 placement match.

This duel was initially scheduled as a double-header, but the first leg had to be called off Friday after one player from Andorra tested positive for Covid-19. The entire team team underwent PCR tests and quarantined.

Barring further positive results, the 5/6 placement match will now be carried out as a single game on Saturday at 12:00 CEST.

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