An unbelievable ending is in the cards today in Group B of the EHF EURO 2022 as all four teams can advance to the Main Round and it is totally unpredictable what will happen in the last matchday. Only this is certain: anyone, who will be in the stands at the Budapest handball arena, will have a magnificent experience.
Co-host Hungary will face Iceland at 18:00, then the Neatherlands face off with Portugal at 20:30. At this moment the Nordic side has 4 points in the group, the Dutch and Hungarian teams have 2 each and the Portugese national team is pointless right now, but they also have a realistic chance of advancing to the main round.
Let’s do the math!
Hungary - through to the main round if - they beat Iceland by at least two goals
- they beat Iceland by one goal AND the Netherlands do not beat Portugal
- they do not lose to Iceland AND the Netherlands lose to Portugal
Iceland - through to the main round if
- they do not lose to Hungary by more than one goal
- the Netherlands do not beat Portugal
Netherlands - through to the main round if
- they beat Portugal
- they do not lose to Portugal AND Hungary do not beat Iceland
- they do not lose to Portugal by more than one goal AND Hungary lose to Iceland
Portugal - through to the main round if - Iceland beat Hungary AND Portugal beat the Netherlands by at least two goals
The end result of the group is really unpredictable, there is no favourite in either game according to the bookmakers, so any of these four teams can advance.
Hungary obviously will have the backing of 20 thousand roaring fans in the Budapest handball arena, which had a big role in beating Portugal on Saturday.
Máté Lékai (HUN) – centre back:
’Of course we did the math and we know what we have to do in order to qualify to the main round. First of all, we need to win against Iceland by two goals at least. There are more ideal results for us but the most important is to win by as much goals as we can.’
Máthé Dominik (HUN) - right back: ‘We saw Iceland’s first two games. They are very fast, we will need to get back to defense faster than against Portugal. We have to be prepared for their goalkeepers and for the 1-on-1 situations. We got a huge support from the fans in our first match, but we were stressed even in the first half of our second game. Still, I think we arrived to the EHF EURO 2022 with this match, so I hope that we keep improving our game from now on.’
István Gulyás – head coach of Hungary ’We need to improve in every aspect of the game against Iceland, both in offense and defense. We need to grab our opportunity if we take the lead and build up a 2 or 3 goal lead. We let Portugal come back when we had comfortable lead so I think this will be a crucial situation against Iceland if it happens.’
Aron Palmarsson (ISL) – left back: ‘I have good friends who I played with in Hungary. Two of the coaches of the national team László Nagy and Chema and also Máté Lékai who is still playing. We played together for two years and yeah, we are good friends. I really liked my time here in Veszprém. And the whole time I played here, I loved the fans, obviously. For me it is probably the best atmosphere I have played in Europe. They know how to be great fans. I am looking forward to face them again. They have a strong team. Their defense is so compact. They are big and strong. It is going to be difficult but we are going to try to open them a little bit up. And in offense, they have disciplined attack. Lékai is the key player for the offense.’
Sigvaldi Björn Gudjonsson (ISL) – right wing ‘We have been playing very well. We have been enjoying playing handball. That is a big part of success, I think. We are playing handball as a team right now. We have lots of good players. We are playing at a top level. And we are just looking forward to every game. And specially we are looking forward to the game tomorrow because it will be a full arena and it will be a very tough match. Final of the group stage, so we are excited.
They are really really physical. They have big players in every position, especially Bánhidi. He is a very strong pivot. We will need to really be careful and take good care of him. Mikler is also a good goalkeeper, so we need to prepair of him too. They have a strong team, Lékai there on the middle making crosses to Máthé, for example. It is a very good physical team, and we have to run with them. We want to get these two points with us to the next round. For us it is olny the victory that counts. And we are sure that we will get these two points with us.’
Björgvin Gustavsson (ISL) – goalkeeper ‘If there is something I love is the pressure. I love to play in front of and against thousands of spectators. Icelandic people love the pressure. We want the pressure all time. We are a small nation, but we are a big handball nation.
Our team is unbelievebly talented, especially in the offense. And our fighting spirit is what I implement every time when we play a game. And our defense, it is crazy actually, is very athletic. Against Hungary it will be totally different that the previous games were before. So we have to fight more.’
There is not a lot of excitement left in Group D as Poland and Germany already advanced, but they will duel out who brings more points to the main round.
The official EHF EURO 2022 website
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