Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Croatia Beats Denmark On Penalties for U21 Euros Spot!

September 27, 2022 - The young Croatia national team is going to the Euros! Croatia beat Denmark on penalties on Tuesday, securing their spot at the 2023 U21 Euros. 

The U21 Croatia national team faced Denmark on Tuesday for a spot at the 2023 European Championship. Four days ago, Igor Bišćan's side won 2:1 against Denmark in Pula, and today in Vejle, they played the return match of the additional qualifications.

The young Croatia team was after their third consecutive European tournament. In 2019, Croatia did not make it out of their group, and Spain was better in the quarter-final last year. 

The match on Tuesday ended with Denmark winning 2:1, and as Croatia celebrated an identical result in the first match last week, the game went into extra time. As the match remained 2:1 at the end of extra time, the winner was decided by a penalty shootout. Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski was the hero, saving shots from Thomas Kristensen in the fourth round and Mathias Ross in the sixth round. 

Denmark took a 2:0 lead with goals from Matthew O'Riley (10) and Morten Frendrup (19), but Croatia brought the match to extra time with a goal from Igor Matanović in the 84th minute.

Croatia has thus qualified for its fifth European Under-21 Championship and the third in a row. In their four attempts so far, Croatia had gotten out of the group stage only once, in 2021, when they were eliminated in the quarter-final. 

The Euros are scheduled from June 21 to July 8, 2023, and will be played in eight stadiums in five cities. Matches will be played in the Romanian cities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca and the Georgian cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi. Romania will host the opening match, and the final will be played in Georgia.

The group draw is scheduled for October 18 in Bucharest, and the national teams will be divided into four groups of four teams each.

The three best national teams from the Euros will qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. As the host of the Olympics, France has already secured their place. 


Denmark: Hermansen - Carstensen, Kristensen, Ross, Kristiansen - O'Riley, Frendrup, Kjaergaard - Isaksen, Tengstedt, Daramy

Croatia: Kotarski - Hodža, Vušković, Soldo, Čolina - Pršir, Franjić, Sučić - Vidović, Beljo, Šego

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Croatia Moves to Top of Nations League Group with Win against Denmark in Zagreb!

September 22, 2022 - Croatia beats Denmark 2:1 in Zagreb and moves to the top of their Nations League group! 

Croatia and Denmark met at a sold-out Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday night in the 5th round of the Nations League.  

Before tonight's match, Demark led the group with nine points, while Croatia was two points behind with 7. A win would bring them to the top of the group. 

Croatia also played for the first time in their new kits, which they will wear at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

The winner of the group travels to the Nations League final tournament, which is scheduled for June next year, while the bottom team moves to League B.

Before the national anthems, recently retired national team member Šime Vrsaljko was honored by the Croatian Football Federation. 22,715 fans were in attendance. 


Croatia (4-3-3): Livaković - Juranović, Josip Šutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa - Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić - Pašalić, Kramarić, Perišić

Denmark (4-3-3): Schmeichel - Andersen, A. Christensen, Kjaer, Maehle - Wass, Höjbjerg, Delaney - Skov Olsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite

Match Report

Luka had the first attack of the match in the 2nd minute and played up the pitch with Kramaric. Luka took the ball to the goal line and got Croatia's first corner. Luka sent the ball in, but Sosa played back into the box to find Gvardiol's head. Brozovic shot over the goal in the 5th minute. 

Perisic and Kramaric played up the left wing in Croatia's next attack, but Perisic played to the keeper. In the 7th minute, Mario Pasalic sent the ball in front of the opponent's goal, but it was cleared by the defense. 

Denmark finally began possessing from the 10th minute. Sosa cleared a dangerous shot by Eriksen and Croatian regained possession. Luka was brilliant again in the 15th minute, dribbling into the Denmark box and crossing into the penalty area. No Croatia player could get to the ball quick enough. Denmark then forced a quick counter which resulted in their first corner. 

Croatia's best chance came in the 16th minute when Perisic crossed into the box from the goal line. The ball was then played out to Kovacic, who shanked over the goal. 

Perisic's shot in the 21st minute also went over the goal. Daniel Wass had a great chance for Denmark in the next play but just missed the goal.

Another great attack for Croatia in the 25th minute went out for a corner. The ball ultimately found Gvardiol's head but went out of play. 

Livakovic saved a dangerous chance from Denmark in the 34th minute. Joakim Maehle fought for space but show low in the middle of the goal and straight into Livakovic's hands.

Ivan Perišić received a yellow card in the 36th minute. 

Eriksen shot from outside the box in the 38th minute, forcing Livakovic to punch the ball out for a corner. 

Croatia kept possession with short passes and waited for a hole in the defense. The match ended 0:0 at halftime. 

The second half started without any changes. 

Croatia's first corner of the second half came in the 47th minute. The ball came out to Borna Sosa at the top of the box, who shot low in the bottom left corner of the goal for 1:0 Croatia!

Kramaric shot from a distance in the next attack but went over the goal.  

Modric was fouled on the edge of the box in the 56th minute. Perisic shot low near post but hit the outside net. 

Denmark made their first subs in the 60th minute. Mikkel Damsgaard came on for Martin Braithwaite, Rasmus Hojlund for Thomas Delaney, and  Rasmus Kristensen for Daniel Wass.

Luka and Perisic had a great play in the 65th minute, and Luka's shot was blocked by the Denmark keeper. Kramaric tried to score on his own in the next attack but played to the Denmark defense. 

Kovacic missed a great opportunity in the 69th minute.

Dalic subbed off Pasalic, Perisic, and Kramaric for Vlasic, Orsic, and Petkovic in the71st minute. Mathias Jensen was subbed for Simon Kjaer.

A lapse in the Croatia defense gave Eriksen space to shoot in the 77th minute. The Denmark star nailed the upper corner of the goal to tie the game. 

Mateo Kovačić was replaced by Lovro Majer in the 79th minute, which resulted in a goal seconds after he entered the pitch. Majer shot with his left foot into the right corner of the goal for 2:1 Croatia! 

Croatia's defense cleared a dangerous Denmark chance in the 84th minute. The play continued and Livakovic kept the game a 2:1. 

Denmark was hungry to equalize, but Croatia remained solid. Vlasic had a chance in the 90th minute, and the ref added 4 mins of stoppage time. Denmark had a scary chance in the final minutes.  

Luka Modric was subbed off in the 2nd minute of stoppage time for Domagoj Vida. 

The match ended 2:1 for Croatia! Croatia plays Austria next on Sunday in Vienna. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 5 September 2022

Croatia Team Announced for Denmark and Austria Nations League Matches

September 5, 2022 - Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić has announced the list of players for the September Denmark and Austria Nations League matches.

After four rounds, Croatia holds second place in the group with seven points, and with two wins, they would secure first place and thus a place in the Nations League final tournament. Croatia can reach the "Final Four" in other ways, and it needs a point to avoid the last place that leads to League B, reports HNS

Croatia will host Denmark at Maksimir on September 22 at 8:45 pm and play against Austria three days later at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna (8:45 pm). Tickets for both matches can be found HERE.

The 2018 World Cup finalists will gather on September 19 in Zagreb, and coach Dalić has invited 25 players with seven potential call-ups. 

"We still have two weeks until we reunite, and during that period, we will intensively monitor the reserve players and see who else we could call up. Also, in agreement with the U-21 national team coach, Igor Bišćan, we will consider whether any of the players invited here join the young national team for the crucial match against Denmark," said coach Dalić.

"As is usual at the start of the season, we have certain challenges - some have injury problems, some players have changed clubs, and some have changed status within the team. Clearly, this list largely reflects our thoughts ahead of the World Cup, but we have more than two months until then and, of course, the fight for certain positions is still open," said the coach.

"We did a great job with victories in Denmark and France; these were performances that boost confidence and confirm the high potential and quality of our national team. With these results, we put ourselves in a position to secure the final tournament, which would be an outstanding result in such a competition, but we know that it will not be easy. We saw at home against Austria what it means if we are not at one hundred percent from the first minute - the only way is maximum togetherness and compactness. We're going step by step, we value both opponents, but we believe in ourselves, and of course, we're going for two victories," coach Dalić is optimistic.

"First of all, given the calendar this year, we must see these matches as preparation for the World Cup. Therefore, we want to see a compact, competitive, and ready Croatia, and at the same time gain knowledge about what we still need to improve before Qatar," concluded Dalić.

Croatia squad

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Lovre Kalinić, Ivica Ivušić

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Martin Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Luka Sučić

Strikers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja

Reserves: Josip Brekalo, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Luka Ivanušec, Marin Pongračić, Kristijan Jakić, Antonio Mirko Čolak, Nediljko Labrović

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia Beach Handball Team Wins 2022 World Championships in Greece!

June 27, 2022 - After the Croatia junior beach handball team brought home the gold medal just one week ago, the senior Croatia beach handball team recorded their third world title and 30th medal total after winning the 2022 Men's Beach Handball World Championships in Greece!

The Croatia men's senior beach handball team took home the title at the World Championships in Heraklion on Sunday! 

In the final match, Croatia was better than Denmark 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) in sets and thus secured their third world title and the 30th medal for Croatia beach handball.

After six days of competition and nine wins in nine games, Lucian Bura was named the best right-winger and the best scorer of the championship.

This year's World Championships final was a replay of last year's final at the European Championships, but this time with a happy ending and Croatia's victory.

Denmark tried to catch up and get closer to Croatia to bring the game to a penalty shootout, but they could not threaten the extremely collected Croatia throughout the tournament.

"The final match, the only match in which you have nothing to lose, and you can only win. Against Denmark, it was exactly as we imagined, challenging and on one ball. 

This time it turned out that we reacted excellently. They respected our agreements, and we responded skillfully defensively, especially Valentino and Jurić, who agreed and made it easier for our goalkeeper in the defense.

This is our third title, something we always strive for. I always have the feeling that gold is coming home, and we had that feeling throughout the tournament. And all credit to the boys for a great game," pointed out Croatia's coach Mladen Paradžik.

"A tough match, a match decided by details, literally small misses. In the first set, we missed a lot - maybe two, three shots, maybe one more for them, and we played maybe a better defense, which brought us victory.

We were both nervous in the second set, and it was clear that it was the final, but the last couple of defenses were great; Domi picked up something and, in the end, I think, a well-deserved victory.

Of course, it is a great success, especially after the junior national team also won the title a few weeks ago. An excellent three weeks in Greece for Croatia handball," commented Nikola Finek, a Croatia national team member who recorded an outstanding performance at the World Championships. 

Croatia's new world champions in beach handball:


Congratulations to the players and coaching staff on this exceptional achievement!

Source: HRS

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatia and Denmark to Meet in U21 EURO Playoffs

June 22, 2022 - Croatia and Denmark will meet in the U21 EURO playoffs in September this year. 

The national team of Denmark will be the last obstacle for Croatia on the way to the U21 European Championships next year. According to the value of all possible rivals Croatia could draw in the playoffs, Denmark ranks up there as one of the highest quality national teams.

"From the teams we were able to draw, they are the best, and their results show that. However, due to the goal differential, they remained below the line, similar to us. A difficult match for us, but also for them," said coach Igor Bišćan for Gol.hr.

Does he believe Croatia will qualify?

"Certainly, we believe in us, in the team. The guys have shown in these qualifiers, which ended the way they did, that they have the right mentality, character, and quality to hope for the best."

The games do not directly overlap with the Nations League. Did he talk to Zlatko Dalić about sharing players?

"We didn't because we only found out the draw on Tuesday, and the game is still very far away. Dalić has priority, he will be the first to choose, and we are happy when one of ours finishes in the first team. That is the purpose of our work. Dalić has shown a lot of understanding so far, we have cooperated very well, and I believe we will continue."

Croatia led the qualifiers until the end - what happened?

"Well, it's hard to expect such a decline; we were almost perfect in qualifying. We didn't expect to stumble so much in those moments. We'll learn. Our players haven't matured in football yet, and let's not say mentally. We paid dearly for that by not going directly to the Euro. We can't change that; I would attribute that to some growing up. If it had to happen, it's good that it happened now that we can still correct it."

How is he dealing with criticisms?

"They are an integral part of our work. Those who cannot understand that should not engage in this profession," Bišćan concluded. 

The additional qualifier matches will be played between September 19 and 27 this year. The Croatia U21s will play the first game at home. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section


Saturday, 11 June 2022

A New Era: Coach Zlatko Dalić Praises Young Croatia National Team Players

Junee 11, 2022 - Coach Zlatko Dalić praises the young Croatia national team players including Erlić and Šutalo in Croatia's 1:0 win against Denmark last night. 

The Croatia national football team defeated Denmark 1:0 in Copenhagen in the Nations League third round on Friday night. Mario Pašalić scored for Croatia in the 69th minute.

After the victory in Denmark, coach Zlatko Dalić congratulated his players and thanked the fans:

"Congratulations to the boys on a great game, especially the second half when we turned the game around. We have shown high quality. This is what Croatia can do and needs to do. There is one more game left against France. Thanks to the fans who cheered us on the whole time," Dalić told Nova TV after the match. 

The coach commented on Marcelo Brozović:

"Brozović can play and it is not a problem for him to play. If he says he has energy, which he does, he doesn’t need to be changed. He is a great winner and a great player for the Croatia national team. With Modrić, Kovačić, and Brozović in the midfield, everything was different."

About Erlić and Šutalo:

"All praise to those young guys who took the opportunity, imposed themselves, and played with a lot of confidence. Stanišić also played a great game, at the top level. All three brought another headache, but a positive one," the coach said.

Šime Vrsaljko is in the picture again:

"Šime was absent for a long time, he played well and we do not want to spend him. We also need him to return as high quality as possible. The advantage is in the togetherness and encouragement of the team. I’m glad he came back after a year. I can only praise the guys. After Osijek, great against France, even better today. France is one of the best teams in the world if not the best. It's a bit of a problem that we only have these three days. We need to rest and recuperate. With this kind of energy and togetherness, we can do a lot," added coach Dalić.

Goal scorer Mario Pašalić also commented on the match:

"Everything was easier when Modrić and Kovačić entered the game in the second half," said Pašalić. Pašalić has been excellent in the attack for Italian first league club Atalanta and reacted in the same way in the 69th minute. He found himself in the right place and skillfully secured Croatia's first victory in this season's Nations League.

"I have that feeling to shoot and find myself in the right spot. Luckily the ball came to me and we won. But, everything is much easier when Modrić, Kovačić, and Brozović play. In the second half, we really took over," said Pašalić after the game.

He also talked about the difficult moments the team went through in the first 45 minutes:

"The first half was extremely difficult. We struggled with everything. We couldn’t come out with the ball, we didn’t have possession and we couldn’t keep the ball for long. But everything changed in the second half. We gained possession, and then we started creating opportunities as well. In the end, we came to a goal. Of course, when Modrić and Kovačić came in, that change took place, the two of them are the best midfielders in the world and they look great in the middle together with Brozović. When they come into play you get some security."

The next opponent is France, who drew against Austria and is the only team in the group without a win after three rounds.

"Who would say that France would not win after three rounds. We're all here for points. It will be interesting until the end," said Pašalić.

Source: HRT

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

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, Gol.hr 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! 

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