Awards, transfers, and Per Johansson

THE LOOK AHEAD: Before the Women's EHF EURO 2018 Qualification enters its final stretch, let's bring you up to date on what happened since Rounds 3 and 4 in March

Per Johannsson has already qualified for the Women's EHF EURO 2018 with Montenegro.

Two more rounds and the qualification for the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France will be completed. A total of 28 matches will be played between 30 May and 3 June 2018.

Afterwards, we will know all 15 teams who join hosts France at the finals tournament in December. Those 15 teams are the seven group winners, the seven runners-up, and the best third-ranked team.

Round 5 and 6 schedule

ehfTV.com live stream schedule

With just two rounds remaining, only three teams so far have clinched their EHF EURO 2018 berth by gaining the maximum eight points from four matches. All three teams have at least once raised the trophy in the past: defending and record champions Norway, Denmark and Montenegro.

Here is a look at what happened since Rounds 3 and 4 took place in March.

  • After Per Johansson extended his contract with Montenegro until 2020, the Swede took over at CSM Bucuresti again. But like in 2017, he failed to lead the Romanian side to the title at the Women’s EHF FINAL4 at Budapest.
  • Johansson stepped in at CSM after the departure of another national team coach, Helle Thomsen. The Danish coach of the Netherlands can now fully focus on the EHF EURO 2016 silver medallists.
  • Another national team coach was more successful on club level: Spaniard Ambros Martin, coach of Romania, steered Györ to their fourth EHF Champions League trophy as they saw off HC Vardar in the final after extra time. While he remains coach of Romania, he will continue his club coaching career at Rostov-Don, the Russian side that finished fourth in Budapest.
  • And one more farewell: regardless the outcome of the qualifying matches against Montenegro and Poland, Slovakian national team coach Dusan Poloz will retire from his position.

Neagu, Krpez and other top scorers

  • Again Romania, which take on Austria and Portugal: top star and three-time IHF World Player of the Year, Cristina Neagu, received another individual award as her 110 goals this season made her the EHF Champions League top scorer for the second time after 2014/15. Neagu was just ahead of Iveta Luzumova, who will need some points against Iceland and Slovenia to book her ticket to France with the Czech Republic.
  • But the MVP of the Women’s EHF FINAL4 can sit and relax while others fight for the qualification: French Vardar goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud is directly qualified as host of the event.
  • From EHF Champions League winners Györ, three players are guaranteed of their journey to France: Norwegians Kari Grimsbø, Stine Oftedal and Nora Mørk.Györ’s Hungarian players will have a fight over distance with Dutch teammates Yvette Broch and Nycke Groot for the top position in Group 7. Both sides are on six points and will face Belarus and Kosovo in their remaining matches, while Netherlands have the better goal difference (plus eight).
  • Serbia’s Katarina Krpez Slezak is on top of the scorers’ list of the qualification with 35 goals, with Slovenians Tjasa Stanko (28) and Ana Gros (27) as her closest challengers.

And remember: individual match tickets are now available for the Women's EHF EURO 2018 from 29 November to 16 December.

written by Björn Pazen / ew