BUDAPEST, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The main round of the Men's EHF Euro 2022, co-organized by Hungary and Slovakia, started here on Thursday with a surprise win from Montenegro against Croatia (32-26).
Montenegro clearly dominated the first half, playing under no pressure in attack and benefiting in the defense by the very tough Nebojsa Simic.
They lead by six at the break (15-9). Despite his best efforts, including a rotation of his players, coach Hrvoje Horvat from team Croatia could simply not find a solution to overcome Montenegro, and his players failed to stage a proper comeback in the second half.
Simic was elected Grundfos Player of the Match, thanks to his 14 saves at a 40 percent efficiency rate.
Montenegro is the current leader of Group 1, level with France, Iceland and Denmark. Montenegrin players will face the Netherlands on Saturday, while the Croats will try to make amends against Denmark.
The day's second battle was fought between reigning Olympic champions France against the Netherlands, and they secured an emphatic win against the Dutch team: 34-24 (15-12).
France did secure a forceful win in the end, but it was not a one-sided game like the one before, as the Netherlands were level late in the first half: 12-12 in minute 24.
Still, the second half was completely under the firm control of the French, who are at maximum points.
The last match of the day saw two nordic teams: Denmark against Iceland. The match was quite unexpected, not in the results, which went according to the book, with a Danish victory (28-24), but Iceland played really level with the Danes, who grabbed their fourth victory in a row.
After the break (17-13), Iceland had the chance to overcome its adversary, but Moller was just everywhere and managed to block eight shots in the last part of the game.
With this victory, the Danes are now the leader of group 1, tied with France on four points, while team Iceland is two points behind.
In the next round, Denmark will face Croatia while Iceland will play against the French.