EHF Euro 2022 Main Round: Incredible Comeback - Croatia Tops Iceland 23:22!

By 24 January 2022
EHF Euro 2022 Main Round: Incredible Comeback - Croatia Tops Iceland 23:22!
Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL

January 24, 2022 - While Croatia could no longer hope for the Euro semifinals, a win against Iceland in the third match of the EHF Euro 2022 main round keeps them in the running for 5th place, and potentially direct qualification for next year's World Championships. An incredible turnaround saw Croatia top Iceland in the final seconds of Monday's match. 

After losing to Denmark, ending their hope for the semifinals, the Croatia national handball team still has two more matches to play. The first was today against Iceland, followed by Wednesday against the Netherlands.

Croatia and Iceland had played five times so far at the European Championships before this match, with four wins: 29:28 (2008), 31:29 (2012), 37:28 (2016), 29:22 (2018), and one 26:26 draw in 2010.

Although dramatically weakened by the coronavirus, Iceland managed to beat France by eight goals in the last match and inflict their heaviest defeat at the European Championships.

Croatia still has theoretical chances for third place in their group, which could bring 5th place at the Euros.

Furthermore, the fifth-place could decide which team will go directly to next year’s World Championships, with no qualifiers to be played in March and April this year. Namely, the Euro medal winners have a secure place at the World Champs, and Denmark, as the current world champions, are also already in. If Sweden, which is one of the hosts of the World Champs, along with Poland, reaches the semifinals, it will mean that the winner of the match for 5th place, which will be played on Friday, will also secure a spot at the tournament. 


After Iceland missed in the first attack, Martinovic scored for 0:1 Croatia in the 1st minute. Iceland finally equalized going into the 2nd minute. 

Iceland took the lead in the 5th minute for 2:1. Iceland made it 3:1 in the 7th minute. Cindric scored for 3:2 in the 9th minute. 

Iceland scored from 7 meters for 4:2 in the 10th minute. Lucin scored for 4:3 in the 12th minute.  Martinovic scored his second goal for 5:4 a minute later. 

Iceland led by 3 goals in the 16th minute - 7:4 - and by 4 goals a minute later (8:4), and 5 a minute after that (9:4).

Cupic scored from 7 meters for 9:5 with 9 minutes to go in the first half. Iceland scored for 10:5 in the 22nd. Cupic scored from 7 meters again a minute later - 10:6. 

Cupic scored for 7 meters again for 10:7 in the 25th minute and again in the 27th minute for 11:8 with 3 minutes to go. Martinovic scored for 12:9 with a minute to go. 

Lucin scored for -2 (11:9) at halftime. 

Srna scored the first goal for Croatia in the second half for -1 - 12:11. Maric made it 13:12 in the 33rd. 

Lucin equalized for 13:13 in the 35th minute! Martinovic put Croatia in the lead moments later - 13:14! 

Lucin scored for 14:15 Croatia in the 37th minute. Pesic was stellar in goal to keep Croatia ahead. Lucin put Croatia up by two goals in the 40th - 14:16!

Lucin scored for +3 - 14:17 - in the 42nd minute. Maric scored for +4 a minute later- 14:18. Jelinic made it 14:19 in the 44th! 

Cupic scored from 7 meters again for 14:20 in the 46th minute. Lucin scored for 17:21 with 12 minutes to go. 

Iceland came back to -1 with 10 minutes to go - 20:21, and they equalized in the 52nd minute for 21:21. 

Iceland retook the lead in the 54th minute for 22:21. Nacinovic equalized for 22:22 with 2 minutes left! Gadza put Croatia back ahead with 10 seconds to go for 22:23, which was the final score of the game! 

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