Norwegian goal machine, French defensive wall and a Croatian comeback

FACTS AND FIGURES: The most important numbers of the preliminary round and what you need to know before the main round starts

The French defence was impressive in the preliminary round. Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

The preliminary round of the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 ended with a bang on Tuesday night. After the completion of the first 24 matches of this tournament a Czech and Norwegian duo tops the top scorer list; another Czech is the best goalkeeper; two former EURO champions have the best attack and defence; and Germany were part of both the highest and lowest-scoring matches.

2 of the 24 matches in the preliminary round ended in a draw: Sweden vs Spain (23:23) and Germany vs Poland (21:21).

3 teams which missed the main round of the EHF EURO 2018 were again eliminated: Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Poland. The fourth team to say farewell to is Serbia.

3 Romanians head the “number of passes” list: Cristina Laslo (624), Cristina Neagu (615) and Eliza Buceschi (596).

3 goalkeepers have had the longest playing time in the preliminary round: Tea Pijevic (Croatia/176 of 180 minutes), Petra Kudláčková (Czech Republic/171) and Tess Wester (Netherlands/170).

3 teams will book their direct tickets from this tournament to the World Championship 2021 in Spain, for which the hosts and world champion the Netherlands are already qualified.

4 – all semi-finalists of the EHF EURO 2018 have qualified for the main round: France, Russia, the Netherlands and Romania.

4 teams had a clean record in the preliminary round with three victories from three matches: France, Russia, Norway and Croatia.

5 – all previous EHF EURO champions have qualified for the main round: Norway (7 trophies), Denmark (3), Hungary, Montenegro and France (1 each).

10 – after a gap of 10 years, Croatia have again qualified for a main round of a Women’s EHF EURO. In 2012 and 2014 they finished 13th, and in 2016 and 2018 16th.

11 of 12 teams which qualified for the main round of the EHF EURO 2018 have done the same now. The only change is from Serbia to Croatia, after Serbia lost to Croatia on Tuesday.

12 goals were scored by Norwegian Nora Mørk in the 42:23 victory against Germany – a record for the preliminary round.

18 assists in three matches by Romanian Cristina Neagu are the top of this list, ahead of Nerea Pena (Spain/16) and Stine Oftedal (Norway/15).

19 goals – Germany’s 23:42 defeat was their biggest-ever international loss. It was also the biggest gap in the preliminary round, ahead of 12 goals in Hungary’s 38:26 defeat of Serbia.

22 goals were scored by both Mørk and Czech Markéta Jeřábková to top the top scorer list ahead of the wing trio Jovanka Radicevic (Montenegro), Carmen Martin (Spain) and Camilla Herrem (Norway) with 18 goals each.  

23 matches are still ahead – 18 in the main round, two semi-finals, and three placement matches including the bronze medal match and final

34 scorer points (assists and goals) by Mørk and Neagu put them ahead of Pena (30).

+40 is Norway’s goal difference after only three matches – far ahead of Russia (+15) and France (+14).

41 goals in the match between Germany and Romania (22:19) was the lowest score of the preliminary round.

42 shots were saved by Czech goalkeeper Kudláčková, ahead of Tess Wester (Netherlands/32) and Croat Tea Pijevic (31). Cleopatre Darleux (France) had the best saving efficiency of 47 per cent.

60 goals were conceded by France, the best defence of all 16 participants ahead of Denmark and Norway (65 each).

65 goals in the match between Norway and Germany (42:23) was the highest preliminary round combined score.

88 goals were conceded by Serbia, the weakest defence, ahead of Poland (84) and Slovenia (83).

105 goals (an average of 35) were scored by Norway to have the best attack after the first stage, ahead of Russia (85) and Hungary (84).

1,209 goals were scored in the preliminary round, an average of 50.37 – 317 in group C, 305 in D, 302 in B and 285 in A.

written by Björn Pazen / jh