EM co-favorite Norway got in the mood for the duel with the German handball players with an impressive victory.
In their first main round game, the Norwegians dispatched Poland 42:31 (21:15). Superstar Sander Sagosen from THW Kiel contributed nine goals to the clear victory and was thus the second best scorer for the Scandinavians, who also meet the DHB selection in Bratislava on Friday evening (8:30 p.m. / ZDF).
World champions Denmark and Olympic champions France are also on course for the tournament in Slovakia and Hungary.
The Danes, coached by former Bundesliga coach Nikolaj Jacobsen, defeated Iceland 28:24 (17:14) in Budapest.
The best thrower for the Danes was the future Berlin professional Mathias Gidsel with nine goals, for Iceland Ómar Ingi Magnússon from SC Magdeburg (eight goals) was the most successful. France had previously defeated the Netherlands 34:24 (15:12).
Sweden wins, Croatia in distress
Sweden, second in the World Championships, also started the main round with a win. The Scandinavians came to an unchallenged 29:23 (16:13) against Russia in Bratislava and now, like their rivals, have 2:2 points on their account in German Group II. The Russians had surprisingly defeated Norway, third in the European Championship, in the preliminary round.
In Group I, Croatia lost all chances with their second tournament defeat. The European Championship runner-up from 2020, weakened by nine Corona failures, lost to Montenegro in Budapest by 26:32 (9:15) and with 0:4 points probably no longer plays a role in the medal race.