Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Croatia Impresses against France for Second Win at Water Polo Euros in Split!

August 31, 2022 - Another win for Croatia at the European Water Polo Championships in Split! After beating Malta on Monday, Croatia secured a victory against France on Wednesday at Spaladium Arena (13:7). 

The European Water Polo Championships continued in Split on Wednesday. The Croatia women's team secured a historic quarterfinal on Tuesday, and after their opening win against Malta, the Croatia men's team faced France in the second round of Group B. 

"It is important that we be good. France is not as strong as, say, Hungary, but they showed quality. They drew against Greece, which is enough of a warning," said Croatia coach Ivica Tucak.

Beating France definitely separates Croatia from the worst or third place in the group - and is even better going into their final Group B match against Greece on Friday. Greece and France drew 12:12 on Monday. 

Match report

1st Quarter

Croatia won the swim-off and the first attack of the match. France hit the crossbar in their first attack. Bukic shot at the keeper in Croatia's next attack. Luka Bukic scored Croatia's first goal with 5:39 on the clock for 1:0! France equalized for 1:1 with 5:20 to go. The next two minutes went without goals. France scored with 2:08 left in the quarter for 1:2. Kragic nailed the net with 1:30 left for 2:2! France went back ahead for 2:3 with 1:09 left. The first quarter ended 2:3 for France. 

2nd Quarter

France won the swim-off this time and the first attack but could not find the goal. Lazic's shot skipped over Croatia's goal in their first attack of the quarter. France was awarded a penalty with 6:53 to go. Croussillat scored or 2:4. Loren Fatvovic made it 3:4 with 6:11 on the clock. No goals for the next two minutes and a few questionable missed calls by the ref resulted in a timeout for France with just over 4 minutes to go. Bijac made two super saves in France's next attack. Kragic hit the post in the next play. Bijac kept a clean net in the next France attack, but Croatia was unable to score either. With less than a minute to go, it was still 3:4 for France. Andrija Basic equalized with 32 seconds on the clock. The second quarter ended at 4:4. 

3rd Quarter 

Croatia won the swim-off to start the third quarter. Croatia's first attack was saved by the France keeper, though France was unlucky in their first attack as well. Kharkov put Croatia back in the lead at 5:4 with 5:42 to go in the quarter. France hit the post and then won a penalty. Lazic was also given his third exclusion. Bijac brilliantly saved the penalty to keep Croatia ahead! And in the next attack - Zuvela scored for 6:4 with just over 4 minutes on the clock. France scored for 6:5 with 2:51 left. Basic nailed the net with 2:23 left for 7:5! And another rocket by Zuvela for 8:5! Croatia had the last attack of the 3rd quarter, which Kragic scored for 9:5 going into the final quarter. 

4th Quarter 

Croatia won the swim-off of the final quarter, and Bukic scored immediately in the first attack for 10:5. A quick counter for Croatia aw Kharkov one-on-one with the France keeper to score for 11:5! Croatia called a time-out with 5:48 left in the match. Bukic scored for 12:5 with 5:28 left. Bijac continued to keep Croatia's net clean with a save in France's next attack. France scored for 12:6 with 3:53 left. Rino Buric scored for 13:6 with 3:27 left! Croatia called a time-out with 1:26 left in the game. France scored for 13:7 with 37 seconds to go in the game. And Croatia won it 13:7! 

Croatia and Greece play in the final Group B on Friday at 20:30. 

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

Monday, 13 June 2022

Current Croatia National Team Jerseys Worn for Last Time, New Design Coming for 2022 World Cup

June 13, 2022 - The 4th round of the Nations League tonight in Paris marks the end of the current Croatia national team jerseys, as the away kit will be worn for the last time at Stade de France. The home kit was retired against France at Poljud last week, and new kits are expected for the 2022 World Cup. 

Another 2018 World Cup final rematch between France and Croatia takes place tonight in Paris at Stade de France as part of the Nations League 4th round, reports

Apart from the fact that Croatia will be looking for its first victory against France in their 10th meeting, this match will also be remembered as the last time the Croatia national team away jersey will be worn ahead of its new design for the 2022 World Cup. 


Slobodan Kadic

Croatia had already said goodbye to its current home kit - the classic red and white checkers - when they played against France in the 2nd round of the Nations League at Poljud last week. These jerseys saw the light of day after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Croatia national team will wear new jerseys at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The new jersey design will premiere at the two September Nations League matches - the first will be played against Denmark in Croatia and the second away against Austria.

The exact design of the new jerseys is still unknown and has not been announced in any manner by HNS, but the famous portal, dedicated to club and national team jerseys, has already toyed with how they may look.


Footy Headlines used leaked information or projections of Nike's template for the 2022 World Cup.

They are inspired by the famous sets of other clubs and national teams for next season. Since they know what will be in style next season or what colors and designs will dominate in the football world, they were able to speculate about Croatia's possible new kit.

The Croatia home jersey is usually composed of red, white, and blue, always with the Croatian coat of arms, the now world-famous red and white checkers.

Footy Headlines claim that the blue color will be different than usual. It will be a little brighter, royal blue, the so-called “Battle Blue” Swoosh.

They underline that Nike presented only a sample of blue and white in its internal catalog, while red remains unknown. This is explained by Nike’s designs for next season. First, they pointed to the new Barcelona jersey, which is dominated by shades of blue, while red is on the defensive.

The portal claims that the Croatia national team away jersey will combine navy blue with red patterns.

For more, check out our sport section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Four New Faces on Latest Croatia Nations League Player List

May 16, 2022 - Coach Zlatko Dalić announced the Croatia Nations League player list at a press conference today ahead of the national team gathering at the end of the month. 

Croatia national football team coach Zlatko Dalić announced the list of players for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches today. The Croatia A national team will play four games at the beginning of June in this competition. 

It all begins in Osijek on June 3 against Austria, followed by another home game against France in Split on June 6.

Croatia then travels to two away games, first to Copenhagen on June 10 against Denmark and then to France for a replay of the World Cup final on June 13.

Dalić invited four debutants to the upcoming gathering: Nediljko Labrovic, Josip Šutalo, Martin Erlić, and Petar Musa, and two call ups - Filip Krovinović and Mario Vušković.

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Nediljko Labrović

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Šime Vrsaljko, Borna Barišić, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Marin Pongračić, Josip Stanišić, Erlić, Josip Šutalo

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

Strikers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Josip Brekalo, Mislav Oršić, Marko Livaja, Ante Budimir, Petar Musa

Callups: Luka Ivanušec, Mario Vušković, Nikola Moro, Ivo Grbić, Mile Škorić, Filip Krovinović

"Congratulations first to Dinamo on becoming Croatian champion. We have four games ahead of us in which we need to achieve our goal in the Nations League. It’s inconvenient because it’s the end of the season, the guys will come after seven, eight days off and there are four games, which is a lot. That is why we have expanded the list and I will have to calculate that," Dalić began and added:

"As always, we will go for all the victories, that is our goal and desire. We need to focus on Austria and France at home, but difficult Denmark in Copenhagen and France in Paris await us. There won't be a lot of calculations. Modrić, Perišić, Gvardiol, or Brozović cannot play all four games; we will see how they will feel. It is inconvenient that the players are on vacation for seven days, so when we gather, there is a danger of injuries and all that.

We will not be able to put together the most ideal lineup, and already in the first game, we have to put in the strongest forces and try to win because it is the most important. Later we will see. Depending on the young team finishing qualifications, some of their players will join us." 

The national team gathers on May 30 in Zagreb and will stay in the capital until June 2 before traveling to Osijek.

Tickets for all matches go on sale today at noon! You can find more information here.

Source: HNS

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

Sunday, 6 March 2022

EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers: France Tops Croatia Women's Handball in Toulouse 27-19

March 6, 2022 - France was better than the Croatia women's handball team for the second time this week, winning 27-19 in Toulouse on Sunday in the 4th round of the EHF Euro 2022 qualifiers. 

The Croatia women's handball team lost to France in the 4th round match of the EHF Euro 2022 4th qualification group in Toulouse 19-27 (9-13).

Two days ago in Koprivnica, France was better than Croatia, winning 21-19, though Croatia put up a great fight. Croatia offered good resistance to the Olympic champion in the return match as well, which they played without coach Nenad Šoštarić, who is sick with an intestinal virus. Šoštarić was thus replaced on the bench by Snježana Petika. 

At the end of the first half, Croatia played well, holding the 9-9 draw. France then scored four goals in a row and went into halftime with a significant advantage. In the second half, Croatia did not manage to bring the result much closer. 

Dejana Milosavljević was the best for Croatia with four goals, while Kristina Prkačin, Ana Debelić, and Andrea Šimara scored three goals each. France's Grace Zaadi was the most efficient with four goals. Croatia's goalkeeper Ivana Kapitanović recorded 9 saves.

This was Croatia's 58th match in the history of European qualifiers. So far, until this match, Croatia counted 38 wins, 2 draws, and 17 defeats. France, on the other hand, had played 55 matches, with 39 wins, 4 draws, and 12 defeats. Recall, in the last two years, France has also won the Olympic gold, world, and European silver.

France leads Group 4 of the EHF EURO 2022 qualifications with a maximum of six points, Croatia has two points, as well as Ukraine, while the Czech Republic is without points. Two duels between Ukraine and the Czech Republic have been postponed due to the war in Ukraine.

The EHF EURO 2022 will be jointly organized by Slovenia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. 

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

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Croatia and France at Poljud: June 2022 UEFA Nations League Host Cities Announced

January 29, 2022 - It'll be a replay of the 2018 World Cup final, with the Croatian Football Federation announcing the 2022 Nations League match between Croatia and France will be played at Poljud on June 6, 2022. 

The Croatian Football Federation Executive Board has decided on the venues for the Croatia national team matches in the UEFA Nations League, opening in June this year, reports HNS

The 2018 World Cup finalist will host Austria on June 3 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek (20:45), and three days later a replay of the 2018 World Cup final between Croatia and France at Poljud in Split. The long-awaited spectacle against the 2018 world champions will also be played in the evening (20:45).

In this June mini-cycle, the Croatia national team will also face Denmark (June 10) and France (June 13), both away. Croatia completes the Nations League in September with Denmark at home (September 22) and Austria away on September 25 (stadium to be determined). 

Thus, four Nations League rounds will be played from June 2 to 14, and the remaining two in the second half of September (from 22 to 27).

The Croatian Football Federation will announce ticket sale information in due time, but if the final 2022 World Cup qualifying match against Russia last November tells us anything, we can expect a sellout at Poljud Stadium in June - with hopefully much nicer weather. 

Croatia will not rest at the end of March, either. While the remaining second-placed European national teams will play additional World Cup qualifications, Croatia could play up to three friendly matches as part of their World Cup preparations.

Furthermore, the World Cup group draw will be held on April 1, 2022, in Doha. On that day, coach Dalić and the players will learn the three national teams they will compete against in the group stage of the World Cup. The 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar from November 21 to December 18 this year. 

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

Thursday, 13 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022: Croatia Falls to France 22:27 in First Match of Group C

January 13, 2022 - The Croatia men's handball team fell to France 22:27 in the first match of Group C at the EHF Euro 2022 in Szeged.

The Croatia men's handball team met France in its first match in Group C at the European Championship, which is being held in Hungary and Slovakia. Coach Hrvoje Horvat led the team in Szeged, Hungary, where they had Croatian support from the stands.

Croatia entered this championship with many changes caused by the coronavirus. Luka Cindrić and Marino Marić did not play in tonight's match as their negative COVID-19 tests did not arrive in time. They are expected to be ready against Serbia in two days.

Croatia started with Mandić and Čupić on the wings, Šipić as the pivot, Jaganjac on the left, Gadža in the center, and Martinović on the right. Pesic started in goal. 


France scored the first goal to lead in the 50th second of the match. Martinovic scored Croatia's first goal for 1:1 in the 2nd minute. 

France led 1:3 in the 4th minute and it was 1:4 for France in the 5th. Mandic came back for 2:4 moments later. It was 2:5 for France in the 7th and 2:6 for France a minute later. 

After Croatia's missed opportunities, France led 2:7 in the 9th. Cupic finally scored for 3:7 Croatia in the 11th minute. 

A brilliant save by Pesic in the 12th minute kept Croatia in the game. Gadza scored for 4:7 in the 15th minute. 

It was 4:9 for France before Croatia made it 5:9 in the 19th. Pesic made an incredible save for a Croatia counter in the 20th for 6:9. 

Cupic scored from 7-meters for 7:10 in the 22nd minute. Croatia picked up the momentum as the first half came to a close, taking advantage of France's mistakes. Martinovic scored for 8:10 in the 23rd. 

It was 8:12 for France with 4 minutes to go. Cupic scored from 7 meters again for -3 (9:12). 

Mandic made it 10:12 with less than two minutes left in the first half.  Sipic scored for 11:13 going into halftime. 

France opened the second half with a goal in the 31st for 11:14, and it was 11:15 in the 32nd.

Sipic scored for 12:15 which was followed by a France penalty for 12:16. Martinovic scored for 13:16 in the 36th. Susnja scored for 14:17 a minute later. 

Sipic scored for 15:18 in the 40th. Susnja scored his second goal for 16:19 in the 42nd. Cupic scored for 7 meters for 17:20 a minute later. 

Lucin scored on a counter for -2 (18:20) and again for 19:21 in the 46th minute. Mandic was excluded with a red and blue card in the 46th minute which changed the dynamic of the game.

France scored from 7 meters for 19:22. Cupic scored from 7 meters for 20:23 with 7 minutes to go. Cupic scored again for 21:25 with 4 minutes on the clock.

Lucin made it 22:25 with two minutes left.  The match ended 22:27 for France. 

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

Friday, 12 March 2021

Olympic Handball Qualifiers: France Defeats Croatia 30:26 in Thrilling Game 1

March 12, 2021 - France defeats Croatia 30:26 in the thrilling first game of the Olympic Qualifiers in Montpellier, France. 

Croatia and France met on Friday night to open their Olympic qualifying campaign in Montpellier. Portugal and Tunisia are also in their group, and the two first-placed national teams will compete in Tokyo this summer. 

Recall, after a desperate performance at the World Championship in January, Lino Červar left the Croatia national team bench and was replaced by Hrvoje Horvat.

Horvat took 20 players to Montpellier, though the official record can include 16. Horvat thus left goalkeeper Mate Šunjić, Ilija Brozović, Luka Šebetić, and Halil Jaganjac out of the lineup for this match. 

The game against France was Horvat's debut as the Croatia coach. 

Croatia v. France Recap

Duvnjak scored the first goal of the game in the 4th minute for 1:0 Croatia. Cupic made it 2:0 for Croatia five minutes later for 2:1. 

France took the lead for the first time in the match in the 11th minute - 2:3. 

Cupic scored from a 7-meter throw in the 13th minute to equalize. Karacic made it 4:4 moments later and Cupic for 5:5 from 7 meters again. 

Cindric gave Croatia the lead for 7:6 in the 17th minute. Martinovic scored for 8:7 two minutes later. Croatia was up by 2 goals thanks to Karacic in the 20th.

It was 10:7 for Croatia one minute later! 

Karacic made it 11:8 in the 23rd, and it was 12:9 a minute after that. Martinovic made it 13:10 in the 25th - and Cindric for Croatia's biggest lead of the game - 14:10 in the 27th!

Fifteen seconds before the half, Cupic scored for +4 (15:12). 

Croatia opened the second half with a quick goal by Cupic for 16:12. Cindric nailed the goal in the 32nd minute for 17:12! 

Cupic scored from 7-meters for 18:15 in the 37th minute and it was 19:15 one minute later. 

Martinovic showed his class again for 20:16 in the 39th. France came back to -2 just two minutes later (20:18). 

A stunner from Duvnjak made it 21:18. Martinovic scored again for 22:19 in the 43rd. Cupic scored for 23:20 one minute later. 

Pesic and Sego were brilliant in goal for Croatia all game. 

However, France started making their comeback and was behind by just one goal in the 47th minute. They equalized for 23:23 in the 49th. 

Croatia failed to score with an extra player in the attack and France retook the lead for 23:24 in the 51st minute. 

Cupic made it 24:24 moments later, and 25:25 from 7 meters with seven minutes left. 

But France was up by two goals with just over five minutes left. 

Cupic scored from 7 meters for 26:28 Croatia with three minutes to go. Strlek missed a one-on-one with the keeper moments later to keep France up by two goals. 

The game ended 30:26 for France.  

Croatia will play against Portugal tomorrow at 18:30, and against Tunisia at the same time on Sunday. Portugal beat Tunisia 34:27 in the first game and thus took the first step towards Tokyo.

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

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Olympic Qualifiers: Croatia Water Polo Defeats France, Records Third Win

February 16, 2021 - In game three of the Olympic Qualifiers in Rotterdam, Croatia water polo defeats France for their third win of the tournament. 

Behind Croatia are two rounds and two victories at the Olympic Qualifying tournament in Rotterdam. Recall, Croatia won their first match against Romania at 16:6, and on Monday against the Netherlands 25:8

Before their meeting with France on Tuesday, Croatia counted by far the most goals (41), with the best goal difference (+27), and is among the teams with the fewest goals conceded.

However, Croatia still has a long road ahead and played only their third match of eight in Rotterdam on Tuesday, this time against France. France lost to Russia in their first match and topped Germany in their second. 

France took the lead first on Tuesday, scoring the opening goal of the game with 5:47 to go in the first quarter. France scored for 2:0 a minute later. 

Maro Jokovic missed a 5-meter penalty moments later, keeping France in the lead. Luka Bukic scored Croatia's first goal of the game after only 4 minutes - 2:1. 

Josip Vrlic scored the equalizer with 1:39 to go in the first quarter (2:2). Loren Fatovic scored for the Croatia lead to end the first quarter at 2:3.

Loren Fatovic opened the second quarter with a goal for Croatia (3:4). Andro Buslje scored for 5:5 with 49 seconds left to end the second quarter.

Buslje opened the third quarter for 5:6 Croatia, though France came back to equalize with five minutes to go (6:6). Milos put Croatia back in the lead at 6:7. Jokovic scored for +2 with 3:42 to go in the third. 

Bukic scored from 5-meters for Croatia's biggest lead yet - 6:9, and Garcia scored for +4 (6:10) to end the third quarter. 

Maro Jokovic opened the final quarter with a goal for 7:11. Fatovic scored a 5-meter penalty to bring Croatia back to +3 (9:12). 

Bukic scored another penalty for Croatia with 3:26 to go in the match (10:13), which was the final score of the match. 

Croatia will meet Russia (Wednesday, February 17, at 2:30 pm) and Germany (Thursday, February 18, at 8:30 pm) in the final two group stage games. 

Following the group stage, the quarterfinal stage will commence on Friday, February 19, in which the four best teams from each group will meet.  The pairs will be determined by their positions in the standings (A1 - B4, A2 - B3, A3 - B2, and A4 - B1). 

The four winning teams will play in the semifinals on February 20. The finalists of the qualifying tournament, as well as the national team that wins the match for third place on February 21, will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which are scheduled from July 24 to August 8, 2021. 

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

Friday, 18 December 2020

Croatia Women's Handball Team Falls to France in Euros Semi-final (19:30), Fight for Bronze Next

December 18, 2020 - The Croatia women's handball team met the current European champion France in the semi-final of the 2020 European Championships in Herning, Denmark on Friday evening. 

By entering the semi-final, Croatia achieved the best result in the history of Croatian women's handball, and thus secured a place in next year's World Cup, where Croatia has not played since 2011.

Croatia traveled to Denmark as complete underdogs, building great form from game to game. On Tuesday, they played a fantastic match against Germany and advanced to the semi-final with a 23:20 victory.

Unfortunately, mighty France was too powerful for Croatia tonight.

France v. Croatia Recap

Croatia opened the game with a goal by Kalaus in the first minute of play. France equalized moments later for 1:1. Debelic made it 1:2 for Croatia in the 3rd.

Stellar saves by Pijevic in the 6th and 7th minute kept the score at 2:2. Micijevic scored for the Croatia lead in the 8th minute - 2:3.

France took the lead for the first time in the 10th minute - 4:3, and scored again for 5:3. France was up by three goals in the 12th minute and four in the 14th. 

At this point, Croatia hadn't scored a goal for seven minutes. 

By the 17th minute, it was 10:3 for France. By the 18th minute, Croatia hadn't scored for over 10 minutes. Croatia finally scored for 11:4

Croatia hit the post twice in the minutes that followed. France called a team timeout. 

Vidak finally scored to slightly reduce France's lead to 13:5, but France scored again in the 28th for 14:5. The match ended at 15:5 at half. 

Croatia defended France's first attack of the second half and Simara scored for 15:6, bringing Croatia 9 goals behind France. Valentina Blazevic made it -8 in the 32nd minute (15:7). A Krsnik penalty made it 16:8 in the 34th.

Pijevic saved France's next attack, and Jezic scored for -7 - 16:9. Blazevic scored for 17:10, and Micijevic for 18:11. Croatia was still behind by 7 goals. 

Croatia was behind by 8 goals in the 43rd minute - 21:13. In the 46th minute, it was 23:13 for France.

With 10 minutes to go, Croatia was behind by 11 goals - 25:14. With five minutes to go, France was up 27:17.

With a minute to go, it was 30:18 for France. With 10 seconds to go, Croatia scored a penalty for 30:19, which was the final score of the match. 

Denmark and Norway will play the second semi-final tonight at 20:30.

Croatia will play in the match for 3rd place on Sunday at 15:30.

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

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Croatia and France to Meet in Euros Handball Semi-final: What Can We Expect?

December 16, 2020 - The Croatian women's handball team advanced to the semi-final of the European Championships with a victory against Germany on Tuesday. The semi-final duel between Croatia and France will be played on Friday at 6 pm. reports that France and Norway are the biggest favorites for gold at the Euros. France came to the Championship as the current European champion, and this will be no easy task for Nenad Šoštarić's team.

Reputable Lequipe presented the Croatia national team, and the journalists of the most widely read French sports newspaper pointed out the advantages of Croatia in the clash for the final.

"France, as first in the group, will meet Croatia in the semi-final, unexpectedly, as this is Croatia's first semifinal in history," begins Lequipe about Croatia.

"Croatia has never played a semi-final in its history, and since 2013, it has been known as a second-class handball team. They were constantly eliminated in the first round of big competitions, even at home in 2014," the French journalist points out.

"Ćamila Mičijević, a left-winger from Metz, is the fourth-best scorer of the competition with 30 goals, five on average. Goalkeeper Tea Pijević reigns in front of the goal, defending 37% on average. Her catching the ball with one hand will be remembered as one of the cult scenes of the Euro."

Lequipe points out that France is a big favorite but says they have to be careful because Croatia is experiencing euphoria, and there is no pressure for the medal. 

The last match between Croatia and France was back in 2007, and France celebrated 28:26.

France did not record a single defeat in the Euros, and only Russia managed to snatch a point from them.

In the first group stage, they defeated the host and the second semifinalist, Denmark, then Montenegro, and Slovenia. In the second round, apart from drawing against Russia, they defeated Spain and Sweden. Although this part of the draw was stronger, it should be noted that France recorded two victories only by one goal, against Montenegro and Spain, which gives Croatia hope. 

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

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