Saturday, 5 November 2022

EHF EURO 2022: 'Queens of Shock' Open Tournament with Defeat to Norway

November 5, 2022 - The Croatia women's handball team opened the EHF EURO 2022 with a loss to Norway in Ljubljana on Friday night. 

The Croatia women's handball team started the 15th EHF EURO in Ljubljana with a defeat. In the 1st round match of Group A, they lost to Norway 23:32. It was the meeting of the European gold and European bronze medalists from the last European championship in Denmark two years ago. Norway has won 13 consecutive European titles.

Croatia was without several significant players and opened the match against the eight-time European champions in the following lineup: Ivana Kapitanović was in goal, Lara Burić was on the right, and Paula Posevec was on the left. Ana Debelić held the line, and Kristina Prkačin, Valentina Blažević, and Dora Krsnik played in the outside positions. The coach made only one change: Katarina Ježić in defense and Valentina Blažević in the attack.

Both teams were nervous at the beginning. The first goal was scored only at the end of the 3rd minute. Croatia scored its first goal in the 4th minute thanks to Dora Krsnik.

It was clear from the beginning that Croatia would have many problems with Norway's defense. After only ten minutes, Norway was up by three points (2:5). Croatia's defense remained solid but missed several clear chances at goal in the first half. 

In the 22nd minute and the 29th minute, Croatia came to one goal behind (9:10, 14:15). Norway woke up, going back to plus two (14:16) at the half. 

Croatia opened the second half with a 3:1 series. Then, in the 33rd minute, Croatia equalized at 17:17. Unfortunately, Croatia made several technical mistakes and opened the door for Norway to go ahead by three - 18:21. Coach Nenad Šoštarić, therefore, asked for a timeout. 

Croatia's play started to drop. Norway's transition and quality took precedence and went up by five goals (21:26). 

In the 52nd minute, Norway was already up by seven goals. Croatia went 11 minutes without scoring a goal. The European champions routinely brought the match to an end and achieved a convincing 23:32 victory. 

With four goals, the top scorer for Croatia was Stela Posavec. Paula Posavec, Tena Japundža, Dora Kalaus, Ana Debelić and Valentina Blažević scored 3 each. Norway's Nora Mork was the best with eight goals. Henny Reistad scored seven and was also chosen as the best player in the match.

Croatia will face Hungary next on Sunday, November 6, at 6:00 pm.

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


Saturday, 12 December 2020

Women's Handball Euros: Croatia Struggles Against Favorite Norway (25:36)

December 11,  2020 - In the second match of the second round, Croatia struggles against favorite Norway (25:36).

The Croatia women's handball team met the biggest favorite of the tournament, Norway, in the second match of the second round on Saturday in Kolding, Denmark. 

On Thursday, the Croatia women's handball team achieved its fourth victory in its fourth appearance at the European Championships. Recall, in the 1st round match of Group II, Croatia defeated Romania 25:20, while Norway recorded a convincing victory against the Netherlands (32:25).

Up until the match against Croatia, Norway scored 137 goals and conceded 90 in four matches. With these stats, they are the best team in the European Championship. Norway is the weakest from nine meters (13/33, 39%) and the best on counters (31/43, 72%). 

Croatia and Norway started the match even -  and it was 3:3 in the 4th minute. Norway took the lead in the next minute, and by the 10th minute, they were up by two (6:8). Croatia was consistently behind by two goals for most of the first half, and by the 29th minute, neither team had scored for more than 6 minutes! 

Croatia went into halftime behind by one goal (14:15). 

The second half started with an immediate goal for Croatia to equalize at 15:15. 

There was a bit of back and forth in the minutes that followed, which saw Norway attain a three-goal advantage at 21:18 in the 37th minute. By the 39th, Croatia was behind by 4 - and by the 41st, behind by 5. In the 45th minute, Croatia was down 20:27. 

Norway's momentum could not be stopped - and they were up by 10 goals in the 48th minute. Croatia was struggling to hold on. 

With two minutes to go, it was 24:34, and the match ended at 25:36 for Norway.

A win against Norway would have secured Croatia a spot in the semifinals. However, even with a defeat, Croatia has a good chance of passing among the four best national teams in Europe. Only Germany can shake up Croatia's plans.

Croatia will play against Germany in the last round on Tuesday at 18:15. Germany beat Hungary 32:25 earlier today and now has four points.

Read more about Croatia handball on HRS.

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


Friday, 24 January 2020

Euro 2020: Croatia Handball Tops Norway in Thrilling Overtime for Spot in Final!

January 24, 2020 - The Croatia handball team met Norway in the semifinal of the European Championship in Stockholm on Friday. 

Lino Cervar’s side was after the gold on Friday night - the only color missing from their collection of medals thus far.

Before the semifinal, Croatia and Norway had played 15 matches. Croatia was better with nine wins, while they had drawn once, and Norway had won five. The last match between Croatia and Norway was played at the last European Championship, where the Cowboys celebrated 32:28.

Croatia scored the first goal of the game for 0:1. 

Norway took the lead in the 3rd minute for 2:1. 

Stepancic equalized for 2:2 in the 4th minute, and again for 3:3 in the 6th minute. 

Horvat made it 4:4 in the 8th minute. 

Mandic gave Croatia the lead for the second time in the game for 4:5 and it was 5:6 in the 11th minute.

Stepancic made it 5:7 for Croatia in the 12th minute - and Maric made it 6:8 in the 16th minute. Sego was brilliant in goal to keep Croatia in the lead.

Horvat put Croatia up +3 in the 19th minute for 6:9. 

Croatia was up 9:11 in the 25th minute. Norway reduced the score to 10:11 one minute before the half. Karacic scored for +2 at the half, which ended at 10:12. 

Karacic opened the second half with a goal and a +3 advantage for Croatia at 10:13, and scored again for 12:14 in the 34th minute. 

Mandic made 12:15 in the 35th minute. In the 39th minute, Norway equalized for 15:15.

Croatia was back in the lead for 15:16, though Norway was quick to equalize for 16:16. 

Matanovic made it 17:18 in the 44th minute, and a stellar save by Sego prevented Norway from coming back.

Duvnjak scored a 7-meter shot for 17:19 in the 45th minute, but it was 19:19 in the 48th minute.

Matanovic scored to put Croatia back in the lead for 19:20, and Horvat made it 20:21 in the 51st minute. Norway, however, was back in the lead for 22:21 with five minutes to go. 

Maric equalized with five to go for 22:22, and Duvnjak put Croatia back in the lead for 22:23 with three minutes to go. Asanin scored his second 7-meter shot to keep Croatia in the lead. A brilliant performance by the substitute goalie. 

At 23:23, the game went to extra time.

Croatia was the first to score for 23:24, though Norway quickly equalized for 24:24. Stepancic put Croatia back in the lead for 24:25, though Norway equalized immediately. 

Norway took the lead in the 67th minute for 26:25. Croatia was awarded a 7-meter shot in the 70th minute to stay in the game - Duvnjak scored for 26:26!

The game moved into 2nd overtime.

Sego made a save at the start to give Croatia the attack, though Stepancic was unlucky. Norway scored for 27:26.

Maric scored a brilliant goal around his back to equalize for 27:27. Horvat scored to give Croatia the lead for 27:28 and Sego made a crucial save for another Croatia attack!

Norway equalized - it was 28:28 at the half.

The final five minute half began with a Croatia attack, which Stepancic missed.

In the final 15 seconds, Musa saved the day to score for 28:29 - and secured Croatia's spot in the final!  

Domagoj Duvnjak was named the player of the game. 

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

Saturday, 20 January 2018

European Handball Championship: Incredible Win for Croatia Over Norway!

Croatia and Norway met for the second game of Group I of the European Handball Championship on January 20, 2018.