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EHF EURO

Four teams still dream of the main round in group B

EHF / Kevin Domas

Iceland have made a big impression during their first two games, winning them both, but could still be in danger of going home early. Portugal, on the other hand, lost the first two matches and still have a genuine chance of booking their main round ticket.

And you cannot discount hosts Hungary or the Dutch either. The atmosphere in Budapest promises once again to be electric on Tuesday night in what has proven to be the closest group in the competition.

GROUP B

Iceland vs Hungary
Tuesday 18 January,18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • a win or a draw would send Iceland to the main round for sure, while Hungary need a two-goal win to be certain of progressing
  • the two nations faced each other six times at the EHF EURO, and Hungary won three of them, including the last one, in 2020 (24:18)
  • the last time Hungary beat Iceland at the EHF EURO was in 2006
  • Hungary and Iceland have scored exactly the same number of goals in the first two rounds of the EURO: 59
  • Icelandic right wing Sigvaldi Bjørn Gudjonsson was named Grundfos Player of the Match in both matches so far and has scored 13 goals – one less than Hungary’s top scorer, centre back Mate Lekai

Gudmundur Gudmundsson, coach, Iceland: “We need to win against Hungary to be able to qualify - that is also our goal. We believe we have a chance there. They will of course be playing at home and have 20,000 spectators to support them, but I think we have a chance and we will do everything we can to qualify for the main round.”

Pedro Rodríguez, right wing, Hungary: “We have a huge task ahead of us against Iceland, but we must not think. Give everything we have got, fight 60 minutes and win, with the help of our fans.”

Netherlands vs Portugal
Tuesday 18 January, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the Netherlands will go through to the main round if they win this game, while Portugal need a two-goals win and an Icelandic victory against Hungary
  • these two sides have never played against each other at the EHF EURO, and you have to go back to 2001 for an official confrontation between them
  • in four previous meetings between 1976 and 2001, Portugal have won two, the Netherlands one, and the earliest game was a draw
  • Dutch right back Kay Smits only needs four goals to reach 50 EHF EURO goals in his career – after playing just five matches in 2020 and 2022. He has scored 24 so far this tournament
  • centre back Rui Silva is currently Portugal’s top scorer, with nine goals across the two matches

Erlingur Richardsson, coach, Netherlands: “Portugal showed us on Sunday that they are – like everyone – getting better every day. Strong team, strong group, so of course we still want to improve our game and put the name of the Netherlands on the handball map by making it to the main round.”

Rui Silva, centre back, Portugal: “We have one game left and we really want to win that one because we came here to have victories. I think Iceland can win all of their games and if it happens, we will still have the chance to advance from the group stage.”

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