The Slovenia Times

Slovenia out of European Handball Championships


Slovenia ended at the bottom of Group C following a defeat against Sweden and a draw with Spain. The 14th spot overall is the country's poorest performance in its ten European Championships this far.

While not having high hopes for the championships before travelling to Poland, coach Veselin Vujović said after the game: "We played badly with no real zeal. We lost control over the Germans already in the first few minutes and lagged behind throughout the game, even the goalkeepers slipped."

"The defence was good, but we could not find the right way to attack. We scored 21 goals, which was not enough to win. Our attack methods were flawed throughout the tournament, we could not score more than 25 goals in any match," said Vid Kavtičnik, Slovenia's wing.

The first minutes of the match were promising, as the Slovenian team showed high defence skills. They took advantage of the Germans' outnumbering team, scoring 5:2 in the 10th minute, but going downhill from there.

The Slovenian team struggled greatly, managing only a tie of 8:8 in the 21st minute. Near the end of the first half-time, its performance got increasingly worse, so the Germans were two goals ahead at the half-time break, at 10:12.

Vujović's efforts to improve their game by sending in centre-right backcourt Miha Zarabec and right backcourt Borut Mačkovšek gave no result; the Slovenians still made quite a few technical errors. The five-goal difference in the 49th minute showed clearly the team could only be saved by a miracle.

Slovenia last played at the European handball championships in 2012 in Serbia, finishing sixth, with their best result being second place in 2004, when the championships was played in Slovenia.

Despite the poor performance in Poland, Slovenia still hope to make it to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, for which they will try to get a ticket at a qualifying tournament in April.


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