Three teams with clean record after opening day
Spain, Portugal and India have all won their first two matches of the inaugural World & European Wheelchair Handball Championship in the six-a-side format in Leiria, Portugal, on Friday.
The tournament, a cooperation between EHF and IHF, continues on Saturday with the remaining group matches with nine teams, the play-offs for two semi-final spots, and the consolation round for teams ranked seventh through ninth.
The two group winners will directly proceed to the semi-finals on Sunday. On Saturday night, the teams ranked second and third in both groups will play cross matches to confirm the two remaining semi-finalists.
All matches at the tournament are streamed live on EHFTV.
Besides seven European teams, India and Pakistan are part of the event, though Pakistan participate without ranking, as their matches will be played regularly but afterwards awarded two points and 0:12 goals for the opponents.
This is a mixed championship with all squads featuring at least three female players, while always at least one female field player has to be on court.
In group A, played with five teams, Spain are the only side with four points after the opening day, which saw them beat Hungary by 15:9 and Croatia by 15:11. Norway, Hungary and Croatia all have two points on their account; Croatia won the first direct duel of this trio: 11:7 against Norway.
In group B, India – ranked sixth at the recent IHF Four-a-Side Wheelchair World Handball Championship some weeks ago – proved their defence qualities in low-scoring victories against Romania (9:5) and Netherlands (8:6).
On Saturday, the duel against hosts Portugal – winner of one gold and three silver medals at EHF European Wheelchair Handball Nations’ Tournaments – will decide the top spot, as also Portugal have beaten Romania (21:10) and The Netherlands (20:10) in this group with four teams.