Preliminary Round (Final Day Summary)

Group A
KUW-GRL 39 : 27 (19:13)
TUN-SLO 27 : 34 (14:16)

Slovenia wins the battle for 1st place and takes 2 points into the main round. Kuwait takes 3rd and will play in Lemgo for 13th place. Greenland will join the other 4th place group finishers at Halle and Dortmund.

Group B
UKR-AUS 37 : 18 (18:8)
FRA-ISL 24 : 32 (8:18)

Iceland needed to beat France to advance and they did that and more with a convincing 8 goal victory against a shell shocked French side which looked anything but like the current European Champions they are. Iceland repeatedly found ways to score against the normally stalwart French defense. Expect plenty of French quotes along the lines that it’s better to get our wake up call now then in the quarter finals like they did against Russia at the Athens. They’ll also compare it to their preliminary group loss to Spain in last year’s European Championships. Those analogies could very well be correct and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back in the Main Round. Tough luck for Ukraine, who will now head to the President’s cup on goal differential.

Group C
GER-POL 25 : 27 (12:14)
BRA-ARG 20 : 22 (10:7)

Poland took 2 points into the main round with a 2 goal victory against the German hosts. Germany was able to fight back from a 2 goal halftime deficit and was leading 23-21 with 10:30 remaining the game. They then went scoreless for nearly 10 minutes to fall behind 23-26 with less then a minute in the game. Poland hung on to win 25-27. Argentina surprised Brazil 22-20 to take 3rd place in the group and the right to play for 13th place. The loss had to be a bitter pill for Brazil to swallow as they played both Germany and Poland closer than Argentina, as well as having beaten Argentina in all recent head to head Pan-American competitions. This victory should give Argentina renewed optimism that they can beat Brazil in Rio this Summer at the PANAM Games when they will likely play each other again for a ticket to Beijing.

Group D
EGY-QAT 35 : 24 (14:11
ESP-CZE 35 : 29 (19:15)

Spain completed their sweep of Group D and starts the Main Round Competition with 2 points. Egypt picked up their first win over Qatar.

Group E
HUN-ANG 34 : 31 (19:15)
DEN-NOR 27 : 25 (15:13)

Denmark sent Norway to the President’s cup, but will take 0 points into the Main Round. Hungary will go through with 2 points, by virtue of their earlier victory against Denmark. I’m going to have to check out the video of the Hungary-Angola game. It would appear that the Angolans are making great strides since their 28 goal opening game loss to Norway. Hungary, in fact, was leading by only 1 goal with 4 minutes left in the game. It’s true that the game had no meaning for Hungary, but that still is a very surprising result.

Group F
MAR-KOR 19 : 32 (9:14) E
CRO-RUS 32 : 27 (16:11)

As expected, Croatia beat Russia, but both teams will still advance as Korea could not overcome the 34 goal difference advantage Russia built up yesterday.