2020 Women’s European Handball Championships (Group II Scenarios): Norway is 1st, Germany and Croatia Duel for 2nd and Why the Netherlands has been Eliminated

The Netherlands narrow 28-27 victory over Germany has made things clearing in Main Round Group II. Here are the standings with just the Hungary-Romania match remaining prior to the final match day on Tuesday.

Main Round Group II Standings (After NED-GER Match)

Norway is undefeated and has already beaten Germany and Croatia so no matter the outcomes of matches played Tuesday they will finish first. This leaves Croatia and Germany fighting for 2nd. The Netherlands can no longer qualify, but their match vs the Romania may have an impact on which team gets second. Here are the 9 different possible outcomes for the combination of results for those 2 matches:

Main Round Group II Scenarios

Scenarios to Make the Semifinals

Here is what each nation needs to do to advance to the semifinals:

Norway: Norway is guaranteed to finish first. Their match vs Hungary will have no bearing on the final standings.

Croatia: If Croatia wins or draws vs Germany they will qualify for the semifinals. If the Netherlands beats Romania they can also still qualify for the semifinals with a 1 goal loss to Germany. (See note below)

Germany: If Germany wins vs Croatia they will qualify for the semifinals. They will also have to win by 2 goals in the Netherlands beats Romania. (See note below)

Why the Netherlands has been eliminated, but their match with Romania could still impact qualification

Should the Netherlands beat Romania and Germany beat Croatia all three teams will be level on 6 points. The next tiebreaker is head to head goal differential n the 3 matches played. The table below depicts the current goal differential for each team and how that goal differential will change based on Germany’s margin of victory in the their match vs Croatia

As you can see the Netherlands has already played their two matches and is stuck at -1 goal differential. And, it is a mathematical impossibility for a -1 goal differential to ever head to the top of the table. If the Netherland had managed a 2 or larger goal win they would have had every increasing chances. As it is, however, Croatia goes through if Germany wins by 1. If Germany wins by two or more they will go through to the semifinals.