There are still more than 70 days to go until the EHF EURO 2018 throws off in Croatia. However, last week was national team week and the participating nations made plenty of use of the opportunity and organised test matches across Europe.
EHF EURO 2008 and 2012 champions Denmark impressed in particular and won the first stage of the Golden League on home soil.
They started with a 24:19 win against Norway and then had to fight hard to keep Poland at bay, 26:25. However, a 31:27 win against world champions France on Sunday secured the overall victory.
Norway finished second following wins against France (30:26) and Poland (31:27), while France could only beat Poland (29:15) and finished third.
EHF EURO 2016 champions Germany shared the spoils with Spain. The double-header was a re-match of the EHF EURO 2016 Final and also part of the German Handball Federation’s 100th anniversary which was celebrated over the weekend.
Spain won the first match on Saturday 26:24, but Germany successfully took revenge and beat Spain 28:24 on Sunday.
EHF EURO hosts Croatia played an intense 26:26 draw against Slovenia in Ljubljana before beating the World Championship 2017 bronze medallists 21:20 in Zagreb on Saturday.
The match took place in front of almost sold-out Arena Zagreb and raised expectations of what is there to come in terms of atmosphere when the EHF EURO comes to Croatia next January.
— HRS (@HRStwitt) October 28, 2017
Sweden and Iceland took one win each, with Iceland winning the first match between the two teams, 31:29, while Sweden won the second 27:24.
A flurry of goals was scored between Serbia and Austria. Serbia won the first match in Tulln, 34:32 on Thursday. In the second match on Saturday, Austria’s Nikola Bilyk scored on the buzzer with a penalty to secure his team a 38:38 draw.
Belarus also scored plenty of goals, beating Switzerland twice in a double-header, 36:31 and 34:23.
In Podgorica, Czech Republic won their first match against Montenegro, 28:26, but the hosts won the second game, 23:22.
Hungary and FYR Macedonia used the national team week for intense training session only. No test matches were scheduled.