The French handball players qualified for the last four of Euro-2022 thanks to their success on Tuesday in Skopje against Germany (29-21).
Les Bleues, still undefeated in this European Championship, ensured first place in their group, offering them, in theory, a more affordable opponent in the semi-finals on Friday in Ljubljana.
Estelle Nze Minko’s band has fulfilled its stated initial objective. Above all, it has once again confirmed the status of the France team, firmly established among the very best nations in the world with this fourth consecutive participation in the last four of a Euro.
In nine international tournaments since the 2016 Olympics, they have only missed the semi-finals once, during the accident at the 2019 World Cup in Kumamoto.
Like the Montenegrins on Sunday – who won the other group II ticket for the last four on Tuesday – the Germans only held out for about twenty minutes (7-6, 19th). Until the defense closes ranks. Meanwhile, Cléopâtre Darleux (10 saves, 36% in total) had disgusted the shooters of the Nationalmannschaft who was playing for her survival in the tournament.
Before flying Thursday morning to the Slovenian capital, host of the semi-finals and then the final on Sunday, the French Olympic champions have a last meeting without challenge in Skopje on Wednesday (8:30 p.m.), against Spain.
This last day of the main round must designate their rivals for a place in the final. It will not be Norway, already qualified, if the band of Stine Oftedal, faller of the Blue in the final of Euro-2020 and the World Cup-2021, remains undefeated in its group. Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia are the other nations in a position to qualify in this group and therefore to meet the Blues.
Unstoppable from the top of the handball hierarchy that they share with the Norwegians, Olivier Krumbholz’s players offered themselves the comfort of a match without a stake on Wednesday.
The leaders, like captain Estelle Nze Minko (2 goals on Tuesday), will not have to shoot their bodies in a second meeting in just twenty-four hours.
This match is even an opportunity to offer the first minutes in a major international tournament to the third goalkeeper Camille Sinceet and the young center half Léna Grandveau (19 years old).