The 2024 European Men’s Championship in Netanya will feature the same 16 teams that played in the 2022 Men’s Europeans in Split.
The teams that advanced to the ECH as group winners in the qualifications that finished today were the Netherlands, Germany, Serbia, and Romania.
Malta, Slovenia, and Slovakia, the best three 2nd-placed teams, joined them. Portugal, which finished 2nd in Group A, did not reach Israel.
Slovenia was the only 2nd-placed team that won seven points and remained unbeaten, like the group winners. It finished 2nd in the group in Kranj behind Romania. These two teams shared the points in a thrilling match today (10:10).
The remaining three 2nd-placed teams won 6 points each, and the top two among them were determined by goal difference. Malta improved its goal difference to +20, thanks to today’s 22:4 victory over Bulgaria. The 16th participant was decided by a single goal, with Slovakia’s goal difference at +8 and Portugal’s at +7.
The participants in the men’s tournament at the 2024 European Championships
Directly qualified: Croatia, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Montenegro, Georgia (the top 8 from Split 2022) and Israel (host)
Advanced through qualifications: The Netherlands, Germany, Serbia, Romania, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia.
The top eight teams from the previous championships will play in Division 1. The other teams will be in Division 2 in the group phase.
2024 European Men’s Championships, Qualifications, Day 3
Group A (Amersfoort, Netherlands)
Poland – Portugal 12:19 (3:3, 2:7, 3:5, 4:4)
Poland:Maciejewski 4, Ozga 2, Bomba 2, Michalsi 2, Cebo 2.
Portugal: P.F.Sousa 6, Teixeira 4, Ramos 3, X.R.Sousa 2, Costa 1, R.P.Sousa 1, Pinto 1, Parati 1.
Netherlands – Lithuania 24:2 (3:1, 5:0, 10:0,6:1)
Netherlands:Te Riele 6, Winkelhorst 4, Rouwenhorst 2, Kastrop 2, Van Ijperen 2, De Weerd 2, Van der Weijden 2, Wolswinkel 2, Nispeling 1, Muller 1.
Lithuania:Jonkus 1, Bakulo 1.
The Portuguese convincingly defeated Poland, but it turned out that a 7-goal win wasn’t enough for them to make a debut at the Europeans. Before today’s match, both teams could reach 2nd place in the group, but Poland didn’t have a realistic chance of being among the best three second-placed teams.
However, the Poles did everything to record the win. After a balanced first quarter, Poland kept up with Portugal until the middle of the second quarter (4:6). Then Portugal started ruling the field. It produced an 8:1 run within seven minutes and earned a nine-goal lead (14:5). However, the Portuguese couldn’t keep that rhythm throughout the second half. The Poles cut the deficit to five goals (10:15) with four minutes left. Portugal widened the gap to seven by the end. After that, the Portuguese waited for the news from the other groups, which made them sad.
The Netherlands’ attack was merciless to Lithuania in the tournament’s last match, which decided nothing, as the host had secured 1st place before the last round and Lithuania was locked for 4th place.
1.Netherlands 3 – 9 (+56)
2.Portugal 3 – 6 (+7)
3.Poland 3 – 3 (-30)
4. Lithuania 3 – 0 (-33)
Group B (Gzira, Malta)
Malta – Bulgaria 22:4 (4:0, 9:1, 3:0, 6:3)
Malta:N.Zammit 6, Muscat 4, Bonavia 3, Cutajar 3, Galea 2, Gambin 1, Plumpton 1, Fenech 1, Bugelli 1.
Bulgaria:Metodiev 1, DOnchev 1, Iliev 1, Velkov 1.
Ukraine – Germany 4:17 (1:4, 2:4, 1:6, 0:3)
Ukraine: Ashanin 2, Osyka 1, Mametyev 1.
Germany: Kueppers 4, Shipper 4, Cuk 2, Schuetze 2, Juengling 2, Bozic 1, Korbel 1, Chiru 1.
Malta demolished Bulgaria. The hosts played at full speed from the first whistle until the last buzzer. Even though this duel was the first on today’s program and was played before other decisive matches, it was clear that Malta would be among the three best second-placed teams with an 18-goal victory, regardless of the results in the other three groups.
Germany demonstrated its power against Ukraine and confirmed 1st place in the group.
1.Germany 3 – 9 (+39)
2.Malta 3 – 6 (+20)
3.Ukraine 3 – 3 (-10)
4. Bulgaria 3 – 0 (-49)
Group C (Istanbul, Turkey)
Great Britain – Slovakia 7:17 (1:5, 3:4, 2:6, 1:2)
Great Britain: Paddon 4, Kameron 1, Elliot 1, Pratt 1.
Slovakia: Marek Tkac 6, Balaz 3, Zatovic 3, Maros Tkac 2, Caral 2, Kovacik 1.
Turkey – Serbia 4:16 (1:6, 0:2, 2:3, 1:5)
Turkey: Oguzcan 1, Ozbek 1, Destici 1, Yutmaz 1.
Serbia:Drasovic 6, Radulovic 2, Milojevic 2, Gavrilovic 2, Vucinic 2, S.Rasovic 1, Martinovic 1.
The Slovaks probably found out the result of the Portugal–Poland game during the first half of their clash with Great Britain, so they probably knew they needed a 10-goal win.
Reaching a double-digit margin seemed an easy task, considering that Slovakia played very well in the first two rounds, while Great Britain scored two, conceding 49 goals in the matches against Serbia and Turkey. However, Great Britain did its best, while Slovakia was maybe pressured with the burden of the favorite. In the middle of the second quarter, the Slovaks led 7:2, but the Brits didn’t let them build a big lead too early. In the 17th minute, four goals separated the rivals (5:9). Slovakia went to 14:5 with a 6:0 run. In the 27th minute, it finally earned a 10-goal lead (16:6). But, the Slovaks couldn’t increase the margin. A minute and 31 seconds before the end, Paddon made it 7:16. Maros Tkac replied immediately for 17:7. In the remaining 71 seconds, Slovakia kept a valuable 10-goal advantage.
Serbia left no chance to Turkey. The Olympic champions played without Nikola Jaksic and Nemanja Ubovic today (they were replaced by juniors Vasilije Martinovic and Pavle Gavrilovic). At halftime, Serbia led 8:1, and added one goal shortly after the middle break for 9:1. Turkey maintained an 8-goal gap until the end of the third period. Serbia dominated in the last eight minutes.
1. Serbia 3 – 9 (+47)
2. Slovakia 3 – 6 (+8)
3. Turkey 3 – 3 (0)
4. Great Britain 3 – 0 (-65)
Group D (Kranj, Slovenia)
Switzerland – Finland 15:10 (3:1, 5:4, 4:1, 3:3)
Switzerland: Pleyer 6, Szer 3, Rickenbach 2, Herzog 1, Melet 1, N.Milovanovic 1.
Finland:Olilla 4, Johnsson 3, Barany 1, Kivou 1, Jernmak 1.
Slovenia – Romania 10:10 (3:3, 1:3, 3:3, 3:1)
Slovenia: Kadivec 3, Troppan 3, Stefanovic 2, Lah 1, Paunovic 1.
Romania: Fulea 4, Lutescu 2, Georgescu 2, Colodrovschi 1, Iudean 1.
Switzerland secured a win over Finland and 3rd place in the middle of the game. In the 12th minute, Finland led 5:4. Then, the Swiss took control. They scored eight goals, conceding one, for a safe 12:6 advantage.
The encounter between Slovenia and Romania started after the games Portugal – Poland and Malta – Bulgaria had finished. Both teams had excellent goal difference. Therefore, even before the first whistle, it was clear that it was almost certain that both teams would go to Israel.
Romania was a favorite. In the opening minutes, the teams exchanged goals. Slovenia, which was highly motivated to show their best and make their fans happy, took a one-goal lead four times, but Romania leveled on each occasion. Early in the second period, Slovenia went in front for the last time – 4:3. Romania responded with three goals to enter the second half leading 6:4. The Romanians dictated the pace. In the 26th minute, Lutescu gave the visitors a 10:7 lead. However, Romania couldn’t score in the last six minutes. In the middle of the fourth period, Slovenia cut the deficit to one (9:10). In the following minutes, Slovenia failed to convert two man-ups. Still, the hosts were awarded a penalty with four seconds to go. Jasa Lah took responsibility. He found the net from the 5m line and the hosts earned a well-deserved point – 10:10.
Both teams have the same goal difference, but Romania scored more goals and finished atop.
1.Romania 3 – 7 (+23 – 48:25)
2.Slovenia 3 – 7 (+23 – 46:23)
3. Switzerland 3 – 3 (-7)
4. Finland 3 – 0 (-39)