SUMMARY: Denmark take last semi-final spot, upset Norway to close main round
Day 13 of the Women's EHF EURO 2022 has brought the main round to an end with three matches in each group. Following co-hosts Slovenia's defeat against Hungary, Denmark have been confirmed as the fourth semi-finalists. Hours later, they beat defending champions Norway to win their group. Sweden reach the fifth place match, playing against Netherlands.
- day 13 of the Women's EHF EURO 2022
- SEMI-FINALS CONFIRMED: DENMARK vs MONTENEGRO; NORWAY vs FRANCE
- 5/6 placement match: Sweden vs Netherlands
- six matches to complete the main round (at 15:30/18:00/20:30 CET):
- main round group I: Hungary vs Slovenia 29:25 / Croatia vs Sweden 27:31 / Norway vs Denmark 29:31
- main round group II: Romania vs Germany 28:32 / Netherlands vs Montenegro 42:25 / France vs Spain 36:23
- recorded matches available in full and as highlight videos on EHFTV (geo-restrictions apply)
- find the latest stories and other news in the dedicated EHF EURO section on eurohandball.com
- Eric Willemsen reporting from Ljubljana; all photos © kolektiff / Jozo Cabraja, Jure Erzen, Axel Heimken, Uros Hocevar, Anze Malovrh, Sasa Pahic Szabo
Wednesday 16 November 2022
That brings our coverage of day 13 of the championship to an end. We have five more matches to go, and things will guaranteed heat up in Stožice Arena for the final weekend. Come and join us in Ljubljana: all-day tickets and weekend packages are now on sale for -20%:
Even with no matches on Thursday, we will run the love blog again as the teams from Skopje arrive in Ljubljana for the final weekend, so a lot of interesting content coming your way again.
For now, it is good night and enjoy our selection of pictures:
What a bumper day of handball we have experienced – with some really unpredictable results.
Hungary's win over Slovenia in the afternoon took a lot of tension out of the playing day, since that result confirmed right away that Denmark as the fourth and last team went through to the semi-finals. While Sweden and Netherlands qualified for the match for fifth place...
... the day ended with a thriller, as Denmark edged Norway to win main round group I and play Montenegro in Friday's semi-final; leaving Norway with unbeaten France as opponents. What a finish to the Women's EHF EURO 2022 awaits us!
Denmark certainly know how to celebrate – even more so after finally beating Norway again!
Stunning finish to the main round, which has a vast effect on the semi-final pairings. Here are the match reviews from Courtney Gahan in Ljubljana and Adrian Costeiu in Skopje:
What an outcome of this main round! Norway are given a clear hint that defending their title is no walk in the park. And how far can Denmark go? Here are reactions after the game from Anne Mette Hansen and Henny Reistad:
It has been a long way coming. I am so proud of the girls and so happy we got this victory. Earlier, we were really happy when Hungary beat Slovenia and then we knew we could just give everything against Norway tonight, and we knew we had to do that to have a chance to win.
It is never fun to lose matches. If we want to win this championship, we have to win against Denmark as well. Also in the semi-final, you have to win against the best, and that is France.
22:07 RESULT | FRANCE VS SPAIN 36:23 (17:9)
France keep doing what that have done before the break. Even with several regulars left off the court to give them rest, they ease to a big win over Spain.
22:01 RESULT | NORWAY VS DENMARK 29:31 (13:12)
Denmark beat Norway finally again, for the first time in a decade! Their rock-solid defensive performance helps them end Norway's winning streak... and most importantly, we now know the two semi-finals on Friday:
- Denmark vs Montenegro
- Norway vs France
Ouch, a double suspension comes costly for Denmark, who see their lead reduced to just one: 29:28... So much tension here, what a finish to the main round!
Second team timeout Norway. They have now dropped three behind against Denmark, 27:24, with nine minutes left. Their winning streak indeed very much in danger now.
But even more important: with this result, Denmark would win the group and avoid France in the semi-finals.
This is a great match to close the main round with. Denmark in with a serious chance to end Norway's 17-match winning streak at EHF EURO events. 22:22 at the moment, 15 minutes on the clock.
One of many Katrine Lunde saves from the first half. Norway vs Denmark still very much in the balance: 15:15 shortly after the break.
21:08 HALF-TIME | NORWAY VS DENMARK 13:12
For the third match in the row, Norway are been given a hard ride. This time by ambitious opponents Denmark, whose must-win game has turned into a want-to-win game since qualification for the semi-finals has been secured.
So, who wins the group? Here is the opinion of EHF journalist Courtney Gahan in Ljubljana:
"Denmark had all the pressure lifted with the first game of the day, given Slovenia’s loss to Hungary. So, they could take the court against Norway with a less nerves and the knowledge they were through.
We’ve seen a very powerful performance from Denmark, with their defence really causing Norway some headaches as the defending title holders lost the ball several times on unforced errors, allowing Denmark to take the lead. And as always when Denmark are at their best, Sandra Toft has been a key force behind it, especially early on. Katrine Lunde has risen through the half to join Toft with a high save rate, and it’s become a great goalkeeper battle, with 14 saves between them so far.
With Lunde’s increasing save rate, Norway have been able to fight back and, as we go to the break, we have a thriller on our hands to decide top spot in group I."
21:05 HALF-TIME | FRANCE VS SPAIN
Just like Montenegro in the previous game, France are resting several players two days before their semi-final. But unlike Montenegro, France are still winning their game: 17:9 at half-time against Spain.
Here is the vision of EHF journalist Adrian Costeiu in Skopje:
"France decided to rest plenty of starters, like Pauletta Foppa and Cléopatre Darleux, who are in the stands, while Béatrice Edwige and Grace Zaadi stayed on the beach, ready to take action whenever they were needed on the court. Yet France used the same style, deployed the same defence and took a seven-goal lead, 12:5, after 20 minutes, leaving Spain reeling.
Once again, it is just staggering that France look so well-oiled as a team, with no player scoring more than three goals, despite their total domination of the game. Spain needed a big win to go to the 5/6 placement match, but it is likely that they will go home now, with Netherlands finishing third and facing Sweden on Friday, in Ljubljana. After 30 minutes, France are leading 17:9 and they look set to maintain their superb defensive record, which reads 19.8 conceded goals per game so far"
Meanwhile over in Skopje, France are leading Spain 13:7... Remember, it is Spain who need a 15-goal win. The Dutch can slowly but surely start preparing for their fifth place match against Sweden on Friday.
Sandra Toft is at it again:
Denmark go from 3:2 down to 6:3 up against Norway, and Danish goalkeeper Sandra Toft already starring with a string of great saves. Already time for Thorir Hergeirsson first team timeout.
We finish the main round with a true highlight in Ljubljana: Norway have been flawless so far this tournament, but still need to defend first place in group I against Denmark. Both teams know they are through to the semi-finals, but the result of the upcoming match determines who plays who on Friday.
If Norway win or draw, they remain in first place and play Montenegro, while Denmark play France in this scenario.
Of course, if Denmark win, they finish top of the group and meet Montenegro, with Norway vs France the other semi-final in that case.
Sweden have locked up third spot in group I; Netherlands have done the same in group II, barring what would be a sensational 15-goal win from Spain over group winners France in the last match tonight.
Here are the match reviews from Croatia vs Sweden (written by EHF journalist Courtney Gahan) and Netherlands vs Montenegro (by Adrian Costeiu):
Sweden have had to overcome the disappointment of Slovenia's defeat earlier, which sent both teams out of the semi-final race – and Denmark through.
This is what centre back Jenny Carlson said right after the match:
Of course it was hard. We saw the result (of Hungary vs Slovenia) and we knew what it meant to us. We also knew we could not do anything about it. The most important here is that we still win this game despite everything that happened before the game. We want to win the next game, also. We need to focus on ourselves.
19:31 RESULT | CROATIA VS SWEDEN 27:31 (11:17)
In the end not as one-sided as it looked during most of the first half, but Sweden secure third place to advance to the fifth place match on Friday. Opponents, very likely, will be Netherlands.
19:26 RESULT | NETHERLANDS VS MONTENEGRO 42:25 (21:15)
Netherlands get their record win, and – more importantly – remain in the for the fifth place match against Sweden. Inger Smits named the Player of the Match after netting seven, but Djurdjina Jaukovic scoring a match-leading 11.
The big win is also important for the Dutch team, as goal difference might play a role for their final ranking in group II.
Talking about milestones: Nathalie Hagman just converts a penalty to make it 30:25 against Croatia for her seventh of the night, and 700th career goal in the Sweden national team jersey.
Still, it is not all about scoring for Netherlands:
We have seen a lot of EHF EURO records and milestones over the past few days; in Skopje, another one might be in the making right now. Netherlands are cruising towards their biggest ever win at an EHF EURO event. That record stands at 25:13 from their 2010 win over Ukraine.
Their lead against Montenegro at the moment: 36:22.
Here in Ljubljana, Croatia suddenly on a 5:0 run to reduce their deficit against Sweden to five: 24:19. Remember, Croatia must win by 10... The clock says 16 minutes left, and then Sweden will be confirmed as the first team to go through to Friday's 5/6 placement match.
And are their opponents currently playing in Skopje?
Time timeout Montenegro. They are currently 11 goals down (29:18) against Netherlands, and even with nothing at all at stake for her team, this is now getting a bit too much for head coach Bojana Popovic.
18:39 HALF-TIME | CROATIA VS SWEDEN 11:17
The significance of this game has been massively reduced of course by Denmark locking up the last semi-final spot earlier. Sweden now all but guaranteed to enter the match for fifth place on Friday. Nathalie Hagman in fine form, with five from five so far.
18:36 HALF-TIME | NETHERLANDS VS MONTENEGRO 21:15
Netherlands seem cruising towards the win they need, scoring 21 in the first-half against the semi-finalists, who, as mentioned, don't play in their strongest line-line-up. What does EHF journalist Adrian Costeiu in Skopje make of the first half?
"As they are already second in the group, with no chance to move into first place, and have qualified to the semi-finals, Montenegro decided to give two of their top players, right wing Jovanka Radicevic and centre back Milena Raicevic, a much-needed rest ahead of the game against the winner of group I in Ljubljana on Friday.
Properly motivated, as they surely need a win to stay in the hunt for the 5/6 placement match in Ljubljana, Netherlands started the game well and took the lead after five minutes, creating a three-goal gap (10:7) with 13 minutes to go. Right back Laura van der Heijden had another superb game, while Montenegro struggled in attack. At the break, Netherlands are leading 21:15 and look firmly in control, with a 63% attacking efficiency."
Netherlands on course for the win they need: 17:13 ahead against Montenegro.
And Sweden, who could lose by up to nine goals against Croatia and still advance to the fifth place match, are currently leading by eight. The match has been in the balance until 6:6, followed by a 10:2 run of Sweden.
Montenegro have their semi-final in Friday in the back of their mind and have left the likes of Jovanka Radicevic and Milena Raicevic out of the team. Netherlands are saying dankjewel so far and take an early 8:7 lead.
No calculations anymore when it comes to which teams will be advancing to the semi-finals. However, Norway and Denmark in the late match in Ljubljana still play for the top position in main round group I. Those winners will play Montenegro in the semi-final, with the second-ranked team set to meet France.
Anyway, let's now see how Sweden deal with the disappointment. They, however, will qualify for the 5/6 placement match if do not lose by more than 10 (!) goals against Croatia.
In the other game, already qualified Montenegro are up against Netherlands, who can still reach that match for fifth place.
The co-hosts wanted more, but have bagged their best ever EHF EURO finish and are proud co-hosts of the event. Well done, Slovenia!
Two down, four to go. However, the key decision everyone has been waiting for has already been taken: Denmark complete the line-up for Friday's semi-finals, after Slovenia have gone down against Hungary. In the other group, Germany can still hope for the fifth place match after beating Romania.
Here are the match reviews from EHF journalists Courtney Gahan and Adrian Costeiu:
Hard times for the co-hosts, who still got their best ever finish at an EHF EURO. Let's hear from line player Nataša Ljepoja right after the match:
This was not our best match but we were fighting until the last minute. We are looking to the future now. I am so proud of my team and I am so happy to be part of this team.
17:02 RESULT | HUNGARY VS SLOVENIA 29:25 (14:14)
Congratulations to Denmark! They are the fourth and last team to go through to the semi-finals, after Slovenia stumble under the pressure of their must-win game against Hungary.
Of course, Sweden can still get level on points with Denmark later today, but then their direct duel comes into account, and that has been won by Denmark (25:23) eight days ago.
16:59 RESULT | ROMANIA VS GERMANY 28:32 (14:16)
A 10-goal outing from Johanna Stockschläder and eight goals from Alina Grijseels lift Germany past Romania. Germany can still finish third; Romania see their tournament come to end, which also applies to Cristina Neagu's EHF EURO career...
Hungary miss a penalty for another four-goal lead; Slovenia convert a penalty to reduce the gap to two (26:24) with just over four minutes left. It could still become the 'Miracle of Ljubljana'...
Is this already becoming Danish delight? Slovenia drop four goals behind against Hungary, 24:20, with 15 minutes left for the hosts to claw back into this.
Only a win from Slovenia could keep Denmark out of the semi-finals...
Germany building a substantial lead over Romania in Skopje: 27:22. That result would mean that Germany can still hope to play that 5th place match, but other results later today still need to go their way, as well.
Meanwhile, Cristina Neagu have passed the 300-goal mark at EHF EURO tournaments... Legend!
Three goals by Ana Gros after the break, as Slovenia and Hungary remain in the balance; 18:18. Remember, Slovenia must win to stay in contention for the semi-finals.
16:10 HALF-TIME | HUNGARY VS SLOVENIA 14:14
We have seen Hungary play well before at this tournament, but they never managed to keep it fully up until the end. That is probably what Slovenia are hoping for, who recovered near the end of the first half but struggled for most parts of it.
Let's hear from EHF journalist Courtney Gahan in Ljubljana:
"Hungary seemed a little stunned by Slovenia’s power to start the match, and it is no surprise really — Slovenia have showed a different face at this EURO, building very well on their opening win against Denmark as they’re progressed through the tournament. With each match, Slovenia look more confident and threatening than this generation ever has before. Of course, the home crowd is also a big help and took some getting used to for Hungary.
But after a good start from Slovenia, highlighted by a great game in goal from Maja Vojnovic, Hungary settled into the game and — driven once again by a superb Katrin Klujber — came back to level. It has been a unique choice for Slovenia to have three goalkeepers on the bench, but has worked well for them, with Amra Pandzic coming in to replace Vojnovic and having an immediate impact.
While Slovenia are playing for the most important win of their lives, with a chance to reach the semi-finals at stake, Hungary have nothing but pride on the line — but it seems to be a powerful enough motivator."
16:06 HALF-TIME | ROMANIA VS GERMANY 14:16
Romania with the better start, but Germany in control after wiping out an early 5:2 and 6:3 deficit. Johanna Stockschäder with six and Alina Grijseels with four the best scorers so far. Remember, both teams are chasing that third place in group II.
Here is the vision of EHF journalist Adrian Costeiu in Skopje:
"When goalkeeper Isabell Roch entered the court, Germany were down 6:3 and their attack was hardly inspiring, with their porous defence conceding goal after goal. With a bit of luck, Roch turned the tables around, as Romania hit the post three times, but her four saves in a row, which took her saving efficiency to 80%, really helped her side improve.
On the back of a 7:0 unanswered run, Germany took a commanding 11:7 lead, as Romania took to rest their starters, including Cristina Neagu, who scored two goals, taking her overall tally to 298 goals at the EHF EURO. It was also some bad luck for Romania, who hit the post four times, but Germany also delivered a better attacking performance, taking advantage once again of Romania’s woes on their transition after the attack.
It is still anybody’s game, with Germany taking a two-goal lead at the break, 16:14, and it will be interesting what happens in the second half, whether Neagu will come back on the court and Romania try to give all to win the game, or they test fringe players."
Worrying times for Slovenia and Dragan Adzic calls his first team timeout. Defensively, Slovenia are far from stable so far. They trail Hungary by 9:7.
Quite some turnaround in Skopje, where Germany have gone from 5:2 down against Romania to 9:6 ahead! Johanna Stockschläder the leading scorer so far, with five goals
In Ljubljana, however, Slovenia and Hungary in the balance after a quarter: 7:7.
Good starts for Slovenia (4:2 against Hungary) and Romania (5:2) against Germany this afternoon. Cristina Neagu had already hit twice, and need just two more to reach that 300-goal mark at the EHF EURO.
While the Slovenian home crowd will go mad again when their heroes try to keep their semi-final dream alive, the match against Hungary in Stožice Arena starts with a minute of silence to commemorate Ula Kos, a young player of handball club Z’Dežele (Celje), who passed away at age 17 after a tragical accident.
So for co-hosts Slovenia in Ljubljana, they will be through to the semi-finals if they beat Hungary AND Croatia do not lose to Sweden AND Norway beat Denmark.
Otherwise, Slovenia still qualify for the 5th place match if they:
- beat Hungary AND Sweden do not beat Croatia, or
- they tie with Hungary AND Sweden lose to Croatia
For Hungary, nothing is at stake anymore, except for gaining more experience.
In the other group, the semi-finalists have been confirmed – France and Montenegro – so Romania vs Germany in Skopje is all about aiming for a third-place finish and qualifying for what is officially called the 5/6 placement match, in Ljubljana on Friday.
The first four teams are getting ready for the opening two games today: Hungary vs Slovenia in Ljubljana and Romania vs Germany in Skopje.
It is all or nothing now: teams know exactly what they need in order to extend their presence in the tournament – and you know as well thanks to this overview.
Another day, another episode of our women in sport series, the cooperation between EHF and kolektiff:
"As the Women's EHF EURO 2022 ❤ comes to an end in Skopje today, we would like to introduce Aleksandra Gjorgjevikj Lazarevska - the engine behind the organisation of the event in Skopje. Aleksandra was in high pregnancy during the last months of preparations for the event, gave birth just a few weeks before the throw-off and was there to keep everything running in Skopje throughout the preliminary and main rounds of the competition. We only have one word for Aleksandra - inspiring!"
The throw-off is at 15:30 CET, but your warming-up starts an hour earlier – with the EHF EURO Live Show Watchalong on our Twitch Home of Handball channel.
Join in from 14:30 CET as a stunning list of high-profile guests will feature on this special last-day-of-the-main-round show.
If you are in for goosebumps even before today's crunch matches have started, watch this!
With the current tournament being Jovanka Radicevic's last EHF EURO, we have put together a brilliant eight-minute film for you on the national team career of the Montenegrin legend. You see her in action, hear also what coach Dragan Adzic and fellow player and friend Andrea Lekic say about her.
The title of the film? Heart of a Lioness. No explanation needed!
You certainly remember Romania star Cristina Neagu became the all-time top scorer of the EHF EURO last night: no player – male or female – has netted more times during European Championships.
Before the match against Montenegro, Neagu was on 287 EHF EURO goals, already the women’s record by far. And by netting nine times, she has gone top of the combined all-time goal scorers’ list for Women’s and Men’s EHF EURO events, overtaking men’s record holder Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson.
The Icelandic great, who played for his national team from 1999 until retiring in 2020, has netted 289 times at EHF EURO events. Currently coach of German club VfL Gummersbach, Sigurdsson praised Neagu right away for her achievement, in contact with EHF journalist Björn Pazen:
“Chapeau, Cristina,” he said in a personal message sent to ehfeuro.eurohandball.com.
Class act x 2!
It makes me proud and I am no hypocrite, but I am a team player. My job is that Romania win their matches, it is not about my goals.
“This is the great experience of my life,” said Slovenia centre back Nina Zulic about the home EHF EURO. “It’s so emotional and I am maybe living the life that I wanted when I was small. I was never thinking, ‘you will play the championship at home and it will be like that.’ It’s really emotional for me and I would say to my mini-me, ‘I’m proud of you and you go girl.’”
Indeed, it has been a dream for Slovenia, who are sure to record their best EHF EURO ranking in history. Read this feature by EHF journalist Courtney Gahan on the home time fighting for a place in the semi-finals today:
Good news for all fans considering coming to the Stožice arena for the final weekend of the Women's EHF EURO 2022: You can now get your tickets for 20% less!
As of this afternoon at 15:00 CET, a 20%-discount will be applied to all-day tickets for the matches scheduled on Friday and Sunday in Ljubljana. The final weekend of the tournament promises some mouth-watering clashes, starting with the match for fifth place and finishing with the two fiery semi-finals on Friday 18 November, and the bronze medal match and the big final on Sunday 20 November.
Read more about the discount here and grab this unique chance to be in the arena this weekend.
A busy, busy day coming up in Ljubljana and Skopje, so use your timeouts wisely.
Like Germany are doing:
A bumper programme today; here are the previews of the main round matches in group I in Ljubljana and group II in Skopje:
No other way to open the live blog today than with the article that guides you through today's bumper schedule of six important games.
What do Denmark, Sweden, and Slovenia need in order to grab the last spot in the semi-finals and join already qualified Norway, France and Montenegro?
And also: what do teams – also those who cannot make the semis anymore – need in order to finish in third position in their respective group and advance to the 5/6 placement match?
Here is your homework. Study this. Examination starts at 15:30 CET.
Good morning and welcome to the live blog for Day 13 of the Women's EHF EURO – the day we are closing the main round in Ljubljana and Skopje.
If you fancy six (yes: 6!) important matches within a few hours, this is your day. All remaining matches in groups I and II will be played today, and here is the schedule: