Saturday, 8 January 2022

Croatia Cup in Osijek: Croatia Handball Falls to Russia 26:28

January 8, 2022 - After beating Russia in the first match on Friday, Croatia fell to Russia on Saturday in the Croatia Cup in Osijek.

The Croatia handball team had its second dress rehearsal ahead of the European Handball Championship, which starts on January 13. For the second time, Croatia met Russia in the Croatia Cup as the final friendly match of their preparations. In the first match, Croatia convincingly won 30:24.

Croatia was meant to meet Bosnia & Herzegovina in the Croatia Cup though they pulled out last-minute due to COVID-19. 

Croatia is still without the injured Luka Šebetić, and Domagoj Duvnjak and Luka Cindrić are in COVID-19 isolation. 


Croatia led 2:0 in the first minute of the game. Russia equalized at 2:2 in the 4th minute. Jaganjac put Croatia back in the lead for 3:2 in the 7th minute and again for 4:2 a minute later. 

Russia equalized at 4:4 in the 9th minute. Martinovic scored for 5:5 in the 11th minute. 

Croatia finally went back in the lead in the 17th minute for 6:5. Mandic made it 7:5 in the 19th. Mihic made it 8:8 in the 23rd minute. 

Jaganjac scored his 5th goal of the game for the Croatia lead in the 24th minute - 9:8. 

Mihic made it 10:9 with 5 minutes to go in the first half. Jaganjac scored for 11:10 with two minutes to go, and Mihic put Croatia up by 2 for 12:10 with a minute to go. 

Mihic scored for 13:10 and it was 13:11 going into halftime. 

Martinovic opened the second half with a goal for 14:11. Jaganjac made it 16:13 in the 6th minute of the second half. Gadza scored for 17:13. 

Jaganjac scored his 8th goal of the match for 18:15 in the 9th minute. Sipic scored for 19:16 one minute later. 

Mihic scored for 20:18 in the 16th minute. Russia took the lead with 10 minutes to go for 20:21. Sipic equalized for 21:21 one minute later. 

It was going goal for goal, and Martinovic scored for 22:22 and 23:23. 

Russia was up by 2 in the 26th minute (24:26). Jaganjac made it 25:26 moments later. It was 26:27 going into the final minute of the game. 

Russia scored to make it the final 26:28. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.  

Friday, 7 January 2022

Croatia Cup in Osijek: Croatia Handball Tops Russia 30:24

January 7, 2022 - Because COVID-19 plagued the Bosnia and Herzegovina national handball team, Croatia handball met Russia to open the Croatia Cup in Osijek on Friday. 

As Russia's appearance at the tournament had been agreed upon earlier, the Croatian Handball Federation reacted quickly and arranged two friendly matches against Russia instead. The first was played on Friday, January 7, and the second to be played on Saturday, January 8, at the same time.

Croatia was left without Luka Šebetić due to an injury, while captain Domagoj Duvnjak and Luka Cindrić are in COVID isolation. Marko Mamić was ruled out of the Croatia Cup to prevent further injury. 

Russia was once an international handball powerhouse. In the last 30 years or so since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has won eight medals from major competitions. The last one, however, was a long time ago, in Athens at the Olympic Games when they won bronze.

Russia is in a very interesting group at the European Championship, along with Norway, Lithuania, and one of the two hosts, Slovakia. Their first round is played in Košice. 


Russia scored the first goal of the match for 0:1 at 1:41. Cupic equalized for 1:1 10 seconds later, before Russia took the lead again on a quick counterattack. Mandic made it 2:2 at 2:30. Martinovic scored for 3:2 in the 6th minute and a Mandic goal made it 4:2 in the 7th. 

Martinovic made it 5:2 before Russia finally scored for 5:3 in the 10th minute. Martinovic scored again for 6:3 a minute later!

Cupic made it 7:4 in the 12th and it was 8:4 for Croatia moments later. A Jaganjac lob made it 9:4 in the 14th. Mandic made it 11:7 in the 19th minute. 

Martinivoc hit the upper left corner for a goal in the 24th minute (12:9), again for 13:9 one minute later, and again for 14:10 in the 26th! 

Croatia's star continued to find the back of the net - Martinovic bent it around the keeper for 15:12 with 2 minutes to go in the first half. 

The first half ended 15:12 for Croatia. 

Croatia scored the first goal of the second half in the first minute for 16:12. Glavas scored from 7 meters for 17:12. 

Martinovic scored from 7 meters for 18:13 in the 5th minute. Mihic scored his first goal of the match in the 7th minute for 19:15. 

Sipic scored for 20:16 in the 10th minute and again for 21:17 one minute later.  

Gadza scored for 22:18 in the 13th minute. Jaganjac scored a rocket for 23:19 in the 15th minute. 

Martinovic scored his 10th goal of the game in the 17th minute for 24:20. A quick Croatia counter made it 25:20 in the 18th. 

Jaganjac scored again for 26:20 for Croatia's biggest advantage of the game. Jaganjac scored for 27:22 in the 22nd minute. 

Goalkeeper Mate Sunjic saved a Russia penalty in the 24th minute. 

With 3 minutes to go, Croatia was up by 5 points (28:23). 

A fab play by Glavas made it 29:23. Glavas scored again for 30:23 with 2 minutes to go. Russia scored the final goal of the game which ended 30:24. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.  

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Croatia Cup: Croatia Handball Tops Qatar, Wins Tournament in Porec

January. 5, 2019 - In the final match of the Croatia Cup 2020 on Sunday, the Croatia handball team defeated Qatar 33:28 and thus won the tournament in Porec.

HRT reports that Qatar beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 30:27 on Friday, and because Croatia played 33:33 against BiH on Saturday, this was a direct fight for first place.

Again, there were many ups and downs in Croatia’s game, but the victory was still great encouragement ahead of the start of the European Championship. 

“We played a lot harder, more responsible, and it was definitely a better show and that is the path we should actually follow. In the first half, our defense was not very good, at 5-1, we received some easy goals, so the weaker part of the game was in the first half. We created chances in the attack but missed a lot of shots. There was a major change in the second half in the sense that our defense became much more solid. Fifteen minutes later, we found the key to the defense and that was decisive in this match,” said coach Lino Cervar after the match.

The best for Croatia was certainly Luka Cindric, who scored eight goals from nine shots. Luka Stepancic was also among the top scorers with five goals, while Frankis Marzo was the best for Qatar with eight goals.

“We expected a tough match, a fight, but on the other hand, they also have a Spanish coach, so they could also outsmart us tactically. However, I think that the coach saw what he could do better in these two games, what was good, what else we should work on and I am pleased that we won this Cup again and that we are going with that win to the Euros, so there will be a positive atmosphere,” said Luka Stepancic.

The European Championship is scheduled for January 9-26, and Croatia will play in Graz with Montenegro, Belarus and Serbia in the first round.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Croatia Cup: Croatia Handball and BiH Draw 33:33 in Porec

January 5, 2019 - The Croatia handball team played 33:33 (18:17) against Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Croatia Cup in Porec on Saturday. writes that the match was the story of the day in the BiH media, who proclaimed this draw to be a great sensation and a huge success for BiH handball.

Anyone with knowledge about handball knows that BiH has a solid team with a few impressive individuals. They have the excellent goalkeeper Buric from Flensburg and Ivan Karacic, who is the brother of great Croatian handball player Igor.

For the first time in history, BiH has qualified for the Euros and boasts the oldest team in the championship. One of their better players, Nikola Prce, is 40 years old.

The BiH national team led most of the game, but towards the end, Croatia managed to lead 32:28. BiH eventually reached the draw.

Igor Karacic scored seven goals for Croatia, while Luka Cindric and Luka Stepancic added four. Marko Panic was BiH's top scorer with ten goals.

Croatia captain Domagoj Duvnjak praised Croatia’s neighbors.

“It is a nice reminder to us. First of all, I would like to congratulate Bosnia on a phenomenal game. BiH has a great team, they played really smart, Buric was great in goal, and I wish Bosnia all the best at the European Championships," Duvnjak said.

"We don't even have money for preparations. We can't get into a hotel without paying the full amount of expenses in advance. At this point, I don't know if we will start preparations. If the state does not help with the Euros, however, we have run out of options,” Vice-President of the BiH Handball Federation, Asim Sahman, told Sarajevo-based Dnevni Avaz.

In the meantime, despite financial problems in the Federation, the team managed to get sponsors to pay for its travel and accommodation in Norway. They are not out of the woods yet, but perhaps because of these circumstances, they can achieve an incredible result at the Euros.

The BiH team managed to come to Porec thanks to the Croatian Handball Federation, which provided them with the conditions for part of the preparations and their hotel. BiH coach Bilal Suman particularly thanked Croatia.

"I would like to thank our host. We are here for a few more days and they provided us with all the necessary conditions. The hotel, the hall - they gave us everything and we thank them. I wish them good luck at the European Championships," Suman said.

The European Championship is scheduled for January 9-26, and Croatia will play in Graz with Montenegro, Belarus and Serbia in the first round.

Lino Cervar's team will test their strength against Qatar in the final day of the Croatia Cup on Sunday.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Winter Transfer Window: Who's Left on Rijeka's Champion Team?

With most of Rijeka's core off to start their careers at new clubs, who is left to lead the team after the Winter Transfer Window is complete?