Saturday, 22 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022 Main Round: Denmark End Croatia's Semifinal Hope (27:25)

January 22, 2022 - Denmark ended Croatia's semifinal hope in the second match of the EHF Euro 2022 main round on Saturday night. 

The Croatia handball team played their second game of the European Championship main round against Denmark at 20:30. Denmark is the favorite not only in tonight's match but also to win the tournament, and Croatia needed a victory to stay in the game for the semifinals. 

Coach Hrvoje Horvat had Alilović, Pilipović, Čupić, Glavaš, Martinović, Ivić, Maraš, Cindrić, Gadža, Lučin, Slišković, Jelinić, Šipić, Marić, Načinović, and Gojun at his disposal tonight. Compared to the last game, Kristian Pilipović came in instead of Ivan Pešić, and right winger Mateo Maraš instead of left winger David Mandić.


Croatia didn't score in their first attack and Denmark scored for 1:0 in the 2nd minute. Cindric scored to equalize at 1:1 in the 4th minute. 

Denmark scored from 7 meters for 2:1. It was 3:1 for Denmark in the 5th minute. Lucin made it 3:2 a minute later. 

Lucin made it 4:3 in the 8th minute. Denmark scored for 5:3 in the 10th. 

Lucin scored for -1 Croatia - 5:4 - in the 12th minute. Denmark made it 6:4 in the 13th minute. Denmark was up by 3 in the 15th minute - 7:4. 

Alilovic made an incredible save to keep Denmark ahead only by 3 goals in the 16th minute, though they scored for 8:4 moments later, forcing a Croatia timeout. 

Maras scored for 8:5 in the 18th minute. Lucin scored for 8:6 moments later. 

Glavas made it 9:7 in the 20th and Martinovic 9:8 in the 21st. Maras put Croatia back to -1 for 10:9 in the 22nd. 

Maric equalized for 10:10 with 5 minutes to go in the first half! Cupic missed from 7 meters with two minutes to go. 

Denmark led by two goals in the final minute of the first half (12:10). Maric scored for -1 - 12:11 to end the first half. 

Denmark opened the second half with a goal for 13:11. Maric made it 13:12 in the 31st. 

Denmark led by 3 goals in the 33rdd - 15:12. Cupic scored for 15:12 moments later. 

Martinovic scored for 16:14 in the 35th. Jelinic scored for 17:15 in the 36th. Martinovic made it 18:16 in the 38th minute. 

Maric put Croatia down to just -1 in the 40th - 18:17. Denmark was up 20:17 in the 42nd minute. 

Cindric scored for 20:28 in the 44th minute. Jelinic scored for 21:19 a minute later. 

Maric scored for 22:20 in the 51st minute. It was 23:21 for Denmark with 8 minutes to go. 

Maric scored for 25:22 in 56th. Cupic made it 25:23 with 3 minutes to go. Maric scored for 26:24 with a minute and a half left. Maric scored again for 27:25, which was the final score. 

Croatia plays Iceland next on Monday. 

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

Friday, 21 January 2022

How Can Croatia Handball Advance to EHF Euro 2022 Semifinals?

January 21, 2022 - Does Croatia handball have a chance at making the EHF Euro 2022 semifinals? Yes, but it won't be easy. 

Because the Croatia men's handball team did not transfer any points to the next phase of the competition and lost to Montenegro 32:26 in the first game of the second round, their chances of reaching the European Handball Championship semifinals are slim. However, there is a glimmer of hope, reports T.portal.

So, how can Croatia move to the knockout stage of the competition? 
1) The first condition is that Croatia can no longer lose and needs to win the next three games: Denmark (Saturday), Iceland (Monday), and the Netherlands (Wednesday). If they lose to Denmark, they have no shot. 
2) The second condition comes down to the other results, of which the key one is for France to beat Denmark in the group derby. In that case, France would be first in the group with ten points, Croatia and Denmark would have six points each, and Montenegro and Iceland four points each.
3) In addition, some other results must coincide, so it is so important that Montenegro beats the Netherlands on Saturday, and France beats Iceland.
4) Furthermore, Denmark should be expected to win against the Netherlands and France against Montenegro. It is also important that Iceland outplays Montenegro.

Thus, Croatia does not depend on themselves, and needing to secure three consecutive victories, including against powerhouses Denmark and Iceland, is not totally realistic. 

However, with so much at stake, coach Hrvoje Horvat decided to make several changes in the team in order to present the best possible players at the European Championship. 

Against Denmark tomorrow, Kristian Pilipović will be part of the team, who today (January 21, 2022), acquired the right to play for Croatia, in addition to Lovro Mihić and Mateo Maraš.

"We go game by game, defeat hurts and we are not happy that we lost. We are in a specific situation where we need to constantly revise, always start all over again. It will be very difficult to play, we will need to be maximally concentrated and provide the best possible game," said Horvat.

Croatia and Denmark meet on Saturday at 20:30. 

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

Monday, 25 January 2021

World Handball Championship: No Quarterfinals for Croatia after Denmark Wins

January 25, 2021 - There will be no quarterfinals for Croatia after Denmark won by a shocking 12 goals in the decisive main round match on Monday night. 

After a nail-biting final minutes, Qatar defeated Argentina 26:25 in their final main round match of the World Championship in Egypt on Monday, significantly helping Croatia's chance at a quarterfinal spot. 

Recall, Croatia needed Qatar to win to stay in the game for the quarterfinals - and with a victory against Denmark on Monday, Croatia would secure a spot in the quarterfinal match against Sweden.

Not only did this game mean nothing to Denmark, who already secured first place in the group, but at least eight players caught the stomach flu, forcing them to play with a weakened squad.

Unfortunately, the reigning Olympic and World Champs were still able to show why they are the best in the world. 

Denmark v. Croatia Recap 

Mamic scored the first goal of the match for 0:1 Croatia. Pesic saved Denmark's first attack.

Mandic made it 0:2 for Croatia in the 2nd minute.

Denmark scored their first goal from a 7-meter throw just under 4 minutes in (1:2). Denmark equalized for 2:2 in the 5th minute. 

Maric scored for 2:3 one minute later - and Horvat made it 2:4 second after that.

Mamic scored his second goal of the game for 3:5, and Horvat scored his second for 4:6 in the 11th minute. 

Denmark equalized in the 15th minute - 6:6. 

Karacic scored a rocket one minute later to put Croatia back in the lead - 6:7. 

Denmark took the lead for the first time in the 18th minute - 8:7.

Martinovic scored to slightly reduce Denmark's lead - 9:8 in the 20th minute. The young Croatia player scored again for 10:9. 

Maric scored for 11:10 in the 23rd minute, and Sebetic for 12:11 in the 24th. 

Duvnjak scored his first goal of the game for 13:12 with four minutes to go in the first half. Martinovic scored for 14:13 in the 27th.

Karacic scored his second goal of the game for 15:14 - Croatia was still behind by one with two minutes to go.

With just over 30 seconds to go, Cupic scored from 7-meters for 16:15. Denmark scored from 7-meters with 5 seconds to go, going into halftime at 17:15.

Only two minutes into the second half and Denmark was up by four goals - 19:15. 

In the 36th minute, Denmark lead by 7 goals - 22:15. 

Karacic scored Croatia's first goal of the second half in the 37th minute for 22:16 - and scored again three minutes later for 25:17. 

Cupic scored for 28:18 in the 43rd minute. Maric scored for 32:19 in the 48th minute - Croatia was down by 13 goals. Maric scored for 33:20 in the 52nd. 

Karacic scored for 35:22 in the 53rd minute. Cupic scored from 7-meters with five minutes to go (36:24).

With one minute to go, Denmark led 37:26. The match ended 38:26 for Denmark. 

The Croatia national team will gather again soon to play a qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics in March. 

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

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Croatia and Denmark: Two Handball Powerhouses Meet in Decisive Monday Match

January 24, 2021 - Croatia and Denmark will meet on Monday in a decisive match for Croatia's fate in the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Egypt. What can we expect? 

Croatia suffered a shocking defeat to Argentina on Saturday night, complicating their path to the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Egypt. While a win would have locked in a spot among the eight best national teams, Croatia must now defeat reigning Olympic and World Champions Denmark and rely on a Qatar victory against Argentina to push them through to the next phase of the tournament. 

Argentina and Qatar play from 6 pm on Monday, and Croatia and Denmark meet two and a half hours later - at 8:30 pm CET.

Denmark is no stranger to Croatia, and behind Spain and France, it is a national team they have met the most times. Namely, Croatia and Denmark have played 18 times, with an even win-loss ratio - both teams have nine wins and nine losses, and they have never drawn. 

At the World Champs, Croatia and Denmark have met a handful of times.

In Portugal in 2003, on the road to the gold, Croatia celebrated 33:27 in a second-round match. Four years later, in Germany, Croatia won 28:26 in the second round in which Ivano Balić excelled with nine goals. In Sweden in 2011, in front of a packed Malmo Arena, Croatia lost 34:29. Kasper Sondergaard led Denmark with ten goals, and Mikkel Hansen scored nine goals. Croatia suffered an even heavier defeat in the 2013 semifinals. After seven consecutive wins, Denmark beat Croatia by 14 goals (34:20) and went on to the final. In the end, Croatia received the bronze medal, which is the last medal from the World Championship.

The two sides have met the most at the Euros, nine times, with four wins to Croatia and five to Denmark. You might remember the especially painful Euro 2008 final when Denmark won 24:20. 

But the European medal is just one of many in Denmark's collection. Namely, they have won the second-most medals won in European Championship history, with a total of six - two gold (2008, 2012), one silver (2014), and three bronze medals (2002, 2004 & 2006). Only Spain has more.

And let's not forget that as of January 2019, they are the reigning Olympic and World Champions. Denmark topped France in Rio and Norway at the World Championship hosted in Denmark and Germany two years ago. 

But when Croatia plays like we know they can, they are a force to be reckoned with, too. 

The Cowboys' shaky World Championship campaign can be attributed to a few things. For starters, captain Domagoj Duvnjak and Luka Cindric had just played in the Champions League final before traveling to Egypt. If they weren't already fatigued, Duvnjak also battled COVID-19 and Cindric an adductor injury, which sent him back home to Barcelona to recover. 

Furthermore, Igor Karacic and Luka Stepancic had to cancel their preparations with Croatia due to injuries, and Marin Sego and Manuel Strlek were still in the process of recovery. Recall, Sego didn't return to the starting lineup until the 19th minute of the Qatar match, thus missing Croatia's first two group stage matches against Japan and Angola. 

To make matters worse, several team members complained of stomach problems the day before Argentina, and Ivan Martinovic and Domagoj Duvnjak were in the worst condition. Martinovic missed training and tested for coronavirus as a precaution, but the result was negative. Other players felt weaker symptoms, which was undoubtedly concerning before the most crucial match of the tournament so far. 

Fortunately, two hours before yesterday's match, the Croatian Handball Federation confirmed that everyone would be ready, though we failed to see that reflected on the court.

Croatia was mostly lost in the attack against Argentina, and the game went down as one of the worst in Croatian handball history.

Coach Lino Cervar even resigned from the bench afterward and said that Croatia must be led by someone else. Cervar's harsh reaction came while Croatia still technically has a chance for the quarterfinals - and one Qatar player could be their hope. 

As mentioned before, Croatia is no longer dependent on itself and must rely on Qatar on Monday in the clash against Argentina.

Namely, reports that Qatar can also make it to the quarterfinals with a win against Argentina and a Croatia defeat against Denmark. 

Qatar will indeed play their best for a victory, especially since the team's top player returned to the squad only yesterday after coming down with COVID-19. Rafel Capote scored nine goals in his first match at the tournament yesterday against Bahrain and showed that he is in great form and ready to overcome Argentina.

Capote is a great shooter, and in addition to the always unpleasant Saric in goal, Qatar has several serious players who can challenge Argentina. 

So, who will it be? Monday is D-Day. Tune in from 6 pm CET! 

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

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Croatia Women's Handball Team Wins First-Ever Bronze Medal at European Championships!

December 20, 2020 - The Croatia women's handball team topped Denmark in the bronze medal fight at the European Championships in Denmark! 

The Croatia women's handball team played their last match of the European Championships against the host of the tournament, Denmark, at 15:30 on Sunday. 

Croatia lost in the semi-final to the powerful France, which dominated every part of the game and celebrated 30:19.

Denmark offered much more resistance in the semi-final match to Norway but eventually lost 27:24. Denmark was the favorite for the bronze. 

Croatia v. Denmark Recap

Croatia scored the first goal of the match with a seven-meter shot for 1:0. Croatia scored for 2:0 in the 3rd minute and 3:0 in the 4th. Denmark scored their first goal in the 6th minute for 3:1 and came back for 3:2 in the 8th minute.

Debelic increased Croatia's lead to 4:2 moments later. Denmark equalized for 4:4 in the 10th.

Denmark took the lead for the first time of the match in the 12th minute - 4:5.  Denmark was up by two in the 14th - 4:6.

Debelic brought Croatia back to -2 in the 19th minute - 5:7, and a stellar Pijevic save stopped Denmark's next attack. Jezic scored for -1 in the 21st - 6:7.

Croatia equaled the score for 7:7 in the 23rd - and Posavec put Croatia back in the lead one minute later -  8:7!

Denmark took back the lead in the 26th - 8:9, but Croatia equalized seconds later. 

With three minutes to go in the first half, it was 10:10.  With two to go, Posavec gave Croatia the lead again for 11:0. 

The first half ended at 11:11. 

Croatia opened the first half with a goal for 12:11. Posavec scored for 14:12 in the 33rd. 

Croatia maintained the lead for the minutes that followed and were up by four in the 48th minute for 21:18. In the 50th minute, Posavec scored for 22:18! 

Simara scored for +5 with just over five minutes to go - 23:18 Croatia! Pijevic remained spectacular in goal. 

Croatia was up by 6 goals with just over three minutes to go, and it was 25:19 in the 57th.

Pijevic gave Denmark no hope - and Croatia held their 25:19 lead until the end! Katarina Jezic was named the player of the match.

This is the first medal in the history of the Croatia women's handball team! 

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

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Croatia and Denmark to Fight for Bronze at Women's Handball Euros

December 19, 2020 - Croatia and Denmark will play the third-place match of the Women's Handball Euros on Sunday at 3:30 pm in Denmark. 

After losing to France in the semi-final on Friday, the Croatia women's handball team will play against the host Denmark in the match for third place at the European Championships.

Norway defeated Denmark 27:24 in the second semi-final match on Friday. 

Norway had two big series in the second half

Denmark opened the match better. Apart from the beginning (1:0), the host of the championship was never behind in the first half. Denmark's biggest advantage was when they were up by four goals, and they went into halftime with an excellent plus three (13:10).

However, at the beginning of the second half, Norway had a 4:1 series and was back in the lead. It was played goal to goal until just before the end of the match when Norway had a 6:1 series and had a five-goal advantage (27:22).

The most efficient for Norway was Nora Mork with six goals, while Mia Rey scored the most for Denmark, also with six goals.

Norway deservedly won a spot in the final for the 11th time, while Denmark will fight for the bronze for the third time.

Norway is the record holder with seven European titles from ten appearances in the final so far. They lost twice to Denmark in the championships hosted by Denmark, and they also lost the 2012 final in Serbia to Montenegro, in a game with two overtimes. Norway also has one bronze medal.

France will play in the final for the second time in a row. Two years ago, they beat Russia in the final (24:21) in front of their fans.

Croatia has already achieved the best result at the European Championships

The match for third place is scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 pm. The final is at 6 pm. Recall that Croatia lost to France in the semi-final on Friday (19:30).

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday's match, the Croatia women's handball team have already achieved the best placement at the European Championships.  

Croatia entered the Euros as the ultimate underdog, and coach Nenad Šoštarić had many problems with injuries and the selection of players before they left for Denmark. However, even with a weakened squad, Croatia shocked favorite Hungary in the first round, then the world champions the Netherlands and Serbia in the remaining group stage games.

Croatia opened the second round with a victory against another favorite, Romania, and then suffered their first defeat against a mighty Norway. Croatia then topped Germany in a decisive match for a spot in their first-ever European Championship semi-final, where they lost to France. 

Croatia’s best result at the Euros thus far is fifth place in 1994.


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

Monday, 2 July 2018

Watch Croatia Team Celebrate After Denmark Victory with Mladen Grdović Hit (Video)

After a dramatic victory against Denmark, Croatia has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Rakitić: "When We Raise the Cup, We Can All Retire"

Croatia and Denmark will play in the round of 16 on Sunday, July 1, at 20:00. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

World Cup 2018: Dalić Reveals Plan Against Denmark in Round of 16

The day after Croatia defeated Iceland, Dalić hosted his regular press conference in the Roshchino national team camp.