The handball players can celebrate progress on Sunday, coach Sabaté should return to the team

The handball players can celebrate progress on Sunday, coach Sabaté should return to the team

Handball players can celebrate progress on Sunday, he should return to the team ;tit trenér Sabaté

Czech Republic – Iceland, match of Group 3 qualification for the 2024 European Handball Championship, March 8, Brno. From left, Viggo Kristjánsson from Iceland, Jakub Hrstka from the Czech Republic, Björgvin Páll Gústavsson from Iceland.

Reykjavík – Czech handball coach Xavier Sabaté has left the hospital in Brno, where he was hospitalized after Wednesday's home win over Iceland in the European Championship qualifier. The Spanish coach should arrive on Saturday afternoon to see the team in Reykjavík, where the team is awaiting an away rematch on Sunday. The national team can already celebrate advancing to next year's championship in advance.

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Sabaté was hospitalized due to chronic problems, but the Czech association did not specify his problems. The implementation team was quickly supplemented by the former coach of the national team, Jan Filip, who returned to the national team after more than two years. One of Sabaté's current assistants, Jan Běloch, who was originally supposed to stay in the Czech Republic, also traveled to Iceland.

“Xavi told us after the game that he had one problem and he had to go to the hospital. Fortunately, he is doing well now and he left the hospital this morning,” Spanish assistant coach Josep Espar Moya said in a recording to the media.

“Jan Běloch and Jan Filip helped us prepare the team. We are continuing with the same plan we had, we are in contact with Xavi. I believe he will be with us tomorrow. The team will be 100% ready and will give everything to the match,” added Sabaté's colleague , with whom they took over the Czech national team last year at the end of February.

The national team surprisingly won 22:17 on Wednesday in Brno nad Islandem, won the third match of the qualification as well and remained 100% after half of the four-member group. The Czechs have a two-point advantage over the Nordic favorites at the top of the table and are within reach of participating in the European Championship.

Two teams from each group of four will advance to next year's championship in Germany, and they will be joined by the four best teams from third place. The Czech team is almost certain that it will at least fit in among those advancing from the third ranks. Regardless of other results, Sunday's win will guarantee Sabaté's participation in the final tournament, a draw would guarantee him progress in the event that Estonia does not win in Israel. The qualification culminates at the end of April.

Iceland, unlike the Czech team, did not miss the World Championship in January, where they took 12th place. He finished sixth at the last Euro a year ago. “The Icelanders will probably be teased because they probably thought they came to us for two points. So I think it will be a very tough rematch. But we will go there to fight for two points,” said Czech goalkeeper Tomáš Mrkva, who had on Wednesday, the success rate of interventions was 45 percent. The national team conceded only 59 goals in the three group matches and has the best defense of the entire qualification.

The Czech national team has made it to seven of the last eight European Championships, most recently failing to advance from the basic group at the final tournament last January in Bratislava . The championship in Germany will take place from January 10 to 28 next year.