20260115 GBR MLT2

Great Britain advance to next round of EHF EURO 2026 Qualifiers

EHF Logo 100 European Handball Federation

Sunday was the final day for the EHF EURO 2026 Qualifiers Phase 1. As in yesterday's matches, both matches were one-sided, but it was the British who had the superior goal difference after a 44:14 win over Malta, while Cyprus's nine-goal victory over Azerbaijan was not enough to send them to the next round. This will be the first time Great Britain have advanced past the first phase.

Great Britain 44:14 Malta

  • Great Britain scored nine of the first ten goals of the match and never looked back. Malta managed to score their second goal over sixteen minutes into the first half, and by then Britain had put 16 past the Maltese keepers
  • The biggest British lead in the first half was seconds before half-time at 23:6, yet Neil Gruppeta scored to cut Malta's deficit before heading to the locker room
  • The second half gave the Maltese no respite as the British padded their lead, reaching the 20-goal advantage mark in the 41st minute at 31:11 and the final margin of the victory roughly three minutes before the end
  • Francisco Pereira scored 17 from 19 attempts for Great Britain, while Andy Mercieca led Malta with four goals

Cyprus 32:23 Azerbaijan

  • Cyprus, who had a superior goal difference by four compared to Great Britain before Sunday's matches, now needed to win by 26 goals against a more resilient Azerbaijan squad
  • Cyprus scored the first three goals, but Azerbaijan equalised in the ninth minute and took over the lead in the 16th minute at 8:9
  • Cyprus regained control and led 18:15 at half-time, but with Cyprus's biggest lead being only eight goals midway through the second half, the writing on the wall was clear for the Mediterranean island
  •  Vasilis Demosthenous led Cyprus with eight goals; Kamran Mammadov paced Azerbaijan with nine


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