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Latvia book ticket to EHF EURO 2024 Qualification Phase 2

EHF / Kevin Domas

Winning the first leg of a two-legged confrontation by 13 usually makes things easy for a team. And after taking the advantage in the first leg of their tie against Bulgaria on Saturday, Latvia remained in their comfort zone in the second leg 24 hours later.

Even though both teams were level in the first part of the game, Latvia took the upper hand right from the throw-off of the second half and remained on top all the way to the final whistle.

Thanks to their double win, Latvia join the EHF EURO 2024 qualification phase 2. The teams ranked 4-24 from the EHF EURO 2022 together with Estonia, Faroe Islands, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Romania and Switzerland and the four winners of the EHF EURO 2024 relegation round – Latvia, Belgium, Turkey and Finland – will enter the race for the 20 remaining tickets.

In the EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers between October 2022 and April 2023 the 32 participants will be divided into eight groups of four teams. The top two teams and the four best ranked third-teams will then qualify for the final tournament.

RELEGATION ROUND:
Bulgaria vs Latvia 32:36 (17:19)
Latvia win 72:55 on aggregate

  • it was only at the start of the second half that Latvia took the upper hand on their opponents. They had been ahead by three in the first half, but Bulgaria managed to close the gap thanks to Kristian Vasilev and Svetlin Dimitrov
  • thanks to a 6:1 series between minutes 32 and 39, Latvia broke away, this time for good. Their advantage never went past the six-goal mark, but never were Bulgaria in the position to threaten them either
  • Kristian Vasilev was the best scorer of the game, netting nine times for Bulgaria, while Rihards Leja scored eight for Latvia

Latvia make it to the second phase again 

Even though they only made it to the final tournament once, Latvia have not missed a single episode of the Qualifiers since they were created, back in 2010. This time, they easily outscored Bulgaria, thanks to an impressive offensive performance. Latvia managed to score 36 goals in each leg, with Nikita Pancenko was the best aggregate scorer with 17 goals across to the two matches.

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