Romania's national handball side has started off on the right foot in the European Championship's qualifiers
Romania’s men’s national handball team has had a scintillating debut in qualifying fixtures counting towards the European Championship in 2018, since the Romanians had no problem securing their win in the first two fixtures of the second group. This past Wednesday Romania grabbed a 26-23 win against Belarus and had the upper hand all throughout the game. Then on Sunday, our national squad secured yet another win against Poland, 28 to 23 in the central Transylvanian city of Cluj.
The latter win was one of the most notable wins of Romanian handball in the last four years, all the more so as Poland is bronze medallist in last year’s World Championships and emerged on the 4th position in Rio Olympics this summer. Romania is at the top of the table in their group at the moment, followed in descending order by Belarus, with 2 points, Serbia, also with 2 points, and Poland, with zero points on their record sheet. Romania’s forthcoming fixture is a home game against Serbia on May 3rd or 4th 2017.
At this point, we should say Romania’s men’s handball squad made headway into a European Championship twenty-one years ago, in 1996, while 2011 was the last year when the Romanians qualified for the World Championships.
Aside from the flawless dedication Romanian handball players showed on the pitch in the aforementioned games, we should also mention the noteworthy contribution of the national team’s freshly appointed manager, Spaniard Xavier Pascual, whose contract with the Romania Handball federation is valid until 2020. With Pascual at the helm, Romanian national squad’s set target is the qualification for the Olympic Games in Japan. Concurrently, Pascual is the manager of Barcelona FC, a team he has been coaching since 2009, and with which he won 5 national titles and 2 Champions League trophies.
However, news is not so good as regards women’s handball, as defending European and Romanian titleholders CSM Bucharest are about to be eliminated form the Champions League. Manager Jakob Vestergaard’s trainees have sustained the third defeat in a row in the League’s group stage, as this past Friday CSM were defeated by Hungarian contenders Gyor 33-25, away from home.
CSM Bucharest’s forthcoming fixture is the away game against Rostov Don on November 11. At the moment, CSM are bottom of the table in Group C, with two points and a minus 11-goal average on their record sheet.