After the defeats against Poland and Germany, one thing is certain: For Austria’s handball players, the adventure comes to an end after the game on Tuesday against Belarus at 8.30 p.m. after the group phase. But if you think it’s all about the golden pineapple, you’re very wrong. Success would keep alive the chance for a top 15 spot. This would avoid the World Cup pre-qualification and thus earn a good position for the draw for the World Cup playoff.
“We played a great game against Germany. The boys were motivated, gave it their all and played a very good defense. We were the better team in the first half,” says team manager Aleš Pajovič, proud of his team. A little disappointment about the missed sensation could not be hidden: “I thought maybe today is the day we beat Germany. But in the end, unfortunately, it didn’t happen.”
In any case, to create a good starting position for the World Cup qualification, you need a win against Belarus.
Poland and Sweden are set as hosts, as is defending champion Denmark. (Important: for the following calculation it is assumed that Sweden will advance to the main round tonight with a win over the Czech Republic. Poland and Denmark are already firmly in the main round)
The three best-placed nations, in addition to the three mentioned above, of the EHF EURO 2022 are also directly qualified for the World Cup. There are also nine qualifiers. These are determined by means of two qualifying phases: The places 16 – 24 (9 nations) first play against the nine winners from the World Cup qualification phase 1 to participate in the World Cup playoff. The nine best nations of the EHF EURO 2022 are firmly in the World Cup playoff – Poland and Sweden as the organizers, Denmark as the defending champion and not counting the top 3 of the EURO.
Belarus will be without their backcourt shooter Uladzislau Kulesh, who tested positive for COVID19 after the opening game against Germany. “So they are definitely missing an important man. Nevertheless, Belarusians can play good handball. For me, your 20-year-old middle man is one of the new discoveries (Note: Kiryl Samoila)”, Robert Weber knows about the quality of the opponent. The veteran will play his 200th international match tomorrow, Tuesday. He is only three international matches short of the two long-time captains Andreas Dittert and Viktor Szilagyi.
Asked about the playing style of the Belarusians, Sebastian sees Frimmel the strengths in their compact, physical 6-0 defense: “In Artsem Karalek, they also have a world-class circle runner and two top wingers.”
The way to success will also lead to willpower, the team boss and his two wingers agree: “You can be beaten and we will do our best again in this game. It’s about a lot for us. We also want to leave this EURO with a good feeling. Tomorrow it is the will that counts.”