Women’s Handball WC “Spoiler Free” Preview (Wednesday, 11 Dec)

Germany will meet Norway in what might be a winner take all showdown for a semifinal berth.

Main Round Play conclude for both Groups today with 6 matches. Who will make the semifinals? Who will get a slot in an Olympic Qualification Tourney. Two of the matches are available in the U.S. on the NBC Olympic Channel. The rest are available on the IHF Website.

NBC TV Schedule: Link
How to watch the matches not on NBC: Link
IHF Daily Preview: Link

Wednesday, 11 December
All Times Local (CET is -8 hrs / US ET is -14 hrs)
Odds courtesy of Unibet

Main Group I

Note: Main Group I is pretty complicated in terms of projecting semifinal and Olympic Tournament qualification. So complicated, it got it’s own separate article: Link

15:00 S Korea vs Netherlands (-5)
– IHF Website Video Link (VPN Required for some countries)

Any chance the Netherlands has of qualifying for the semifinals starts with beating S Korea first. They will need some help to slip into second place, but it’s possible. South Korea is simply playing for pride. A bit of a disappointing end for a team that did so well in the preliminary round.

18:00 Denmark (-2.5) vs Serbia  
– IHF Web Stream Video Link (VPN Required for some countries)

Serbia has an outsider’s chance of getting to the semifinals while Denmark can finish no better than 3rd. But, what’s on the line for sure: A chance at Olympic Qualification. The winner will at least finish 4th where they would play in the 7th place match for entry in an Olympic Qualification Tournament; the loser will do no better than 5th and their Olympic dreams are over.

20:30 Norway (-3.5) vs Germany 
– IHF Web Stream Video Link (VPN Required for some countries)

There are multiple scenarios at play, but by the time this match starts only three scenarios will be left. The most entertaining scenarios: Winner qualifies; Loser takes 3rd. I won’t get in to all the possibilities. It would take too long. For all the possibilities check out this Link

Main Round Group II

15:00 Spain vs Russia (-2.5) (With Commentary from Paul Bray)
– Match airs live in the U.S on the NBC Olympic Channel at 1:00 AM (US ET)
– Olympic Channel Video Link (No VPN Required)
– IHF Website Video Link (VPN Required for some countries)

Russia is undefeated and has already qualified for the semifinals. With a win or a draw they will finish 1st. Spain can take 1st with a win and will take 2nd with a draw. They can also still qualify for the semifinals even if they lose, but it will depend on what Sweden does. If Sweden wins they would be level on points with Spain. And, since Spain and Sweden tied the next tie breaker will be GD in all matches. Spain is currently at +18 and and Sweden is at +12, so the combination of Spain’s loss and a Sweden win will need to be greater than 6 goals. And, then if it’s 6 goals exactly the next tie breaker is total goals scored. And, if that is tied… well then they will draw lots.

18:00 Japan (-2) vs Romania 
– IHF Website Video Link (VPN Required for some countries)

Not a whole lot to say about this match. Both teams are winless in Main Round play and this match is just for pride.

20:30 Sweden (-1) vs Montenegro (With commentary from Paul Bray)
– Match airs live in the U.S on the NBC Olympic Channel at 6:30 AM (US ET)
– Olympic Channel Video Link (No VPN Required)
– IHF Website  Video Link (VPN Required for some countries)

As previously discussed, Sweden may have a chance to pass Spain on goal differential and qualify for the semifinals. But, they likely will have their hands full just beating Montenegro. Regardless, the outcome of this match will determine 3rd and 4th place which actually means something. The 3rd place team will have a guaranteed entry into one of the Olympic Qualification tournaments, whereas 4th place in the group will face off against the other 4th place team in Group 1 for 7th place overall and the last slot for the Olympic Qualification tournaments.