The Hungarians finished both the group stage and the main round group with two wins and one defeat, and will find out on Monday whether they meet Denmark or Egypt in Wednesday’s quarter-finals in Stockholm. The Hungarian men’s handball team also qualified for the Olympic qualifying round by reaching the quarter-finals.
The Hungarian team’s progress to the last eight was decided after co-hosts Sweden, the European champions and World Cup silver medalists, beat Portugal 32-30 in the last game of Main Round Group II in Gothenburg on Sunday night. Results between advancing teams from Groups C and D were carried over into Main Round Group II, where Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Cape Verde, and Brazil played against each other.
Hungarian goalkeeper Roland Mikler has said that he would have retired from playing for the Hungarian men’s handball team if the team had not reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship and had not fought for an Olympic qualifying spot.
“It is decided that today was not my last national team match, because a lot would have been decided if we had not been able to continue this world tournament,” the captain said on Hungarian sports channel and website M4 Sport on Sunday evening.
The International Handball Federation (IHF) Olympic Qualification Tournaments will take place from March 11-17, 2024, with four teams at each of the three venues, with the top two qualifying for next summer’s five-round games in Paris. Hungary last competed at the London 2012 Olympics, where they finished fourth.
The Hungarian team played Cape Verde in the last round of the semi-finals on Sunday and won 42-30. “It was a bit easier for us, I expected a closer game. We started very well, with good defending, because we managed to keep Cape Verde away from our goal and we did it in the rest of the game,” said Hungarian national team captain José María Rodríguez Vaquero after the game.
The final standings of Main Round Group II are: 1). Sweden 10 points, 2). Hungary 6 points, 3). Iceland 6 points, 4). Portugal 5 points, 5). Brazil 3 points, 6). Cape Verde 0 points.
Featured photo via Facebook/Magyar Kézilabda-válogatott