Netherlands book last European ticket for U20 World Championship

EHF / Björn Pazen

The 15th and last European participant for the U20 World Championship in Slovenia is confirmed. Thanks to a close 27:26 victory in a true thriller against tournament hosts Austria, the Netherlands have clinched their berth for the event.

The Netherlands join hosts Slovenia, the teams ranked 1 to 12 from the U19 EHF EURO 2021 and fellow qualification winners Poland as the European participants at the tournament in June and July.

  • the Netherlands sensationally failed to qualify for the U19 EHF EURO, but were the winners of the Women's 19 EHF Championship tournament to be part of this qualification
  • Austria (37:23) and the Netherlands (36:18) took clear victories against Lithuania in the first two matches of the tournament in Vienna
  • Austria were boosted by 12 goals from U19 EHF EURO 2019 and U17 EHF EURO 2017 top scorer Katarina Pandza in the ‘final’ against the Netherlands
  • however, in a close match, the Dutch side took the victory thanks to a final save by goalkeeper Bianca Schanssema with the final buzzer

A roller-coaster ‘final’

It was an up and down match with constantly changing leads - and in the end, the Dutch players danced on the court.

The crucial match for the last ticket to Slovenia first saw Netherlands get ahead 12:9, then Austria scored a 4:0 run and took a close 13:12 lead to the dressing rooms.

After the break, the Netherlands turned a 12:14 deficit into a 15:14 lead, but the Austrians were ahead 26:25 with two minutes to play. But first, Lynn Kuijpers levelled the result, before the best Dutch scorer Catharina Molenaar scored the winners’ strike with her sixth goal.

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