Plucky Montenegro secure EHF EURO 2022 ticket
It was an all-or-nothing game for both Montenegro and Romania in group 8 of the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, although a draw would probably have secured an EHF EURO 2022 berth for both sides.
Having frustrated Romania throughout the match, Montenegro secured a 23:19 win that confirmed their place at the EHF EURO 2022.
In the other game of the group, Sweden confirmed their perfect record, taking a commanding 39:16 win against Kosovo.
Montenegro vs Romania 23:19 (9:9)
- the game featured five lead changes in the first half, which ended in a stalemate, 9:9
- after the first game produced 63 goals, in a 36:27 Romanian win, the defences were both on high alert, with neither side boasting an attacking efficiency higher than 50 per cent in the first half
- a 4:0 run to start the second half for Montenegro lifted Zoran Roganovic’s side to a four-goal lead, as Romania needed more than seven minutes to score their first goal
- with a strong defence that limited Romania to only 19 goals, Montenegro took the lead and never looked back, with Marko Lasica and back Branko Vujovic scoring five goals apiece
- after finishing second in the group with six points, Montenegro secured their fifth consecutive EHF EURO berth, while Romania failed to reach their first EHF EURO since 1996
A new disappointment for Romania
How the mighty have fallen! Former world champions Romania failed to qualify for the EHF EURO for the 13th time in a row, after their 23:19 defeat against Montenegro. The Romanian side could have progressed to the final tournament, provided they won at least once against Kosovo, a team that they drew against away and lost against on home court.
It is a testament to Romania’s inability to seize the crucial moments that they are back to square one, despite a convincing 36:27 home win against Montenegro that could have seen them progress to the EHF EURO 2022.
Sweden vs Kosovo 39:16 (22:8)
- Kosovo could only keep the pace with Sweden for the first four minutes, with the Scandinavian side jumping to a 13:3 run to establish a commanding 15:5 lead
- back in the Swedish side after missing the EHF EURO 2020 and the 2021 IHF Men’s World Championship, right wing Niclas Ekberg was flawless for Sweden in the first half, scoring eight times
- Sweden had a superb 78 per cent attacking efficiency, whilst Kosovo could only muster a 29 per cent efficiency in their second worst ever defeat in the EHF EURO qualifiers
- with six wins from six games, Sweden finished the group in first place and had the highest goal difference in the qualifiers (+63)
- this was Sweden’s biggest win in the EHF EURO qualifiers since November 2008, when the Scandinavian side enjoyed a 42:18 win against Turkey on the back of a 12-goal game from the same Niclas Ekberg