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Slovenia qualify for European Handball Championships

Koper, 18 June - Slovenia earned a berth in the European Men's Handball Championship in Croatia next year by defeating Portugal 28:18 (12:9) in the final round of qualifications in Koper last night.

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Koper
Slovenia defeat Portugal to qualify for the 2018 European Men's Handball Championships.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Having booked three wins, a tie and two defeats, Slovenia finished second in the 5th qualifying group, behind the winners Germany and ahead of Portugal and Switzerland.

The draw for the final tournament, running in Croatia between 12 and 28 January 2018, will be held in Zagreb on 23 June.

"Portugal played well, but I knew that if we put up strong defence, they have no chance. The defence was solid throughout the game, we played well and I'm happy the team made it to the European Championship," head coach Veselin Vujović commented after the match.

This will be Slovenia's 11th appearance at the European Championships. In their best showing so far they won silver on home turf in 2004. They finished fifth in Croatia in 2000 and sixth in Serbia in 2012.

Slovenia also won bronze at the World Handball Championships in France in January in what is the biggest ever feat for Slovenian team sports.

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© STA, 2017