Defensive masterclass lifts France past Ukraine
The defence-first mentality proven time and time again by France was once again on display against Ukraine, as the EHF EURO 2020 runners-up celebrated winning group 4 of the Women's EURO 2022 qualifiers with a superb win against Ukraine, 27:18.
- Ukraine tied their lowest output in the first half of a game in the EHF EURO qualifiers, mirroring their six-goal performance against Croatia in March 1998
- in a superb defensive display, France utilised a 6:0 run to prevent Ukraine from scoring between the 12th and 29th minutes
- Ukraine produced their worst attacking display in this phase since March 2018, when they scored only 15 goals in a loss against Switzerland
- the hosts secured their 16th home consecutive win in the EHF EURO qualifiers, a streak dating back to May 2006, when France drew 29:29 against Turkey
- Ukraine still have two games to play against the Czech Republic, but they will be eliminated from contention for an EHF EURO 2022 spot if Croatia beat the Czech Republic on Sunday
France turn the tide to celebrate win in emphatic fashion
Between the 12th and 36th minutes, Ukraine scored only once, enabling France to turn a two-goal deficit into a seven-goal lead. It was another example of Olivier Krumbholz's renowned defence taking control over a game and enabling the team to clinch a superb win, just three days after conceding 31 goals against the Czech Republic.
After losing their second game in a row, Ukraine now face two must-win games against the Czech Republic. However, if Ukraine are to progress to their first EHF EURO since 2014, they must also hope that Croatia fail to beat the Czech Republic on Sunday.