Iceland’s men’s national handball team suffered a 25-33 defeat against Hungary in the 2024 European Men’s Handball Championship but still advanced to the intermediate round due to Montenegro’s win over Serbia. Coach Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson expressed disappointment with the team’s performance, particularly in the second half, and acknowledged the need for tactical adjustments before their upcoming matches against Germany, France, Austria, and Croatia.
Disappointment after heavy defeat
The men’s national handball team suffered a heavy defeat against Hungary last night, 25-33, in the 2024 European Men’s Handball Championship. Despite the loss, Iceland has advanced to the intermediate round, thanks to a victory by Montenegro over Serbia. The team advances into the intermediate round with zero points and a negative-eight goal difference where four games await. Viggó Kristjánsson was Iceland’s top scorer with eight goals.
Snorri Steinn Guðjónsson, head coach of the national team, was understandably disappointed after the game. Speaking to RÚV after the match, Snorri described the second half as terrible and believes his attackers need to improve their efficiency.
“These are big disappointments. But we did not deserve anything more from the game. The performance was lacklustre, and the second half was terrible.”
When asked about a possible lack of spirit in the team, he replied, “We just collapsed and became listless. What worked in the first half – the defence and the intensity – just wasn’t there in the second half. One thing led to another. Turnovers and missed opportunities. It’s the same story. One thing leads to another. When nothing is right, naturally, the game goes like this.”
No clear explanation
Snorri had no ready answers about what was affecting their efficiency. “It’s just poor. We can’t find explanations for it. It’s something the players need to buckle down on. It goes without saying that at this level, such lapses can’t be afforded.”
Snorri added that whenever a team becomes guilty of so many technical errors and poor execution, the game is a foregone conclusion. He also discussed the lack of shots from range. Snorri took responsibility for the loss, adding that the coaching team would need to review the performance. “I take the blame for the tactical approach to the game. It was not good enough. The opportunities we’re getting, we’re not utilising them. But I need to delve into it.”
Ahead are four games in the intermediate round against Germany, France, Austria, and Croatia.
“This was our first match in the intermediate round — and we lost. Consequently, we have no points to carry forward. This makes our journey tougher. There’s little time between matches, but that doesn’t alter the fact that we need to critically analyse our performance. We must make some adjustments because this approach isn’t delivering results in the intermediate round.”