Sunday, 28 November 2021

World Women's Handball Championship Final Prep: 'Queens of Shock' Top Slovenia 29-21

November 28, 2021 - The 'Queens of Shock' are back in action this winter, completing their final preparations for the World Women's Handball Championship in Spain this December by winning 29-21 in a friendly match against Slovenia on Saturday in Poreč. 

The Croatia women's handball team defeated Slovenia with a convincing 29-21 (15-10) in the last preparatory match on Saturday at Žatika hall in Poreč, before the team heads to the IH World Women's Handball Championship in Spain. 

Nenad Šoštarić's team played well and held their own until the end of the game when they had less time to relax. Overall, they were solid in defense. This resulted in a constant increase in their advantage throughout the match.

It was already 6-2 in the 11th minute after Croatia had a 4-0 series, and at halftime, Slovenia was five goals behind (15-10).

Croatia was up +7 (17-10) in the 34th minute, and Slovenia managed to stay five goals behind (20-15) until the 44th minute. The "queens of shock" scored seven in the next eight minutes and received only two goals. In the 52nd minute, they were up +10 (27-17).

In the end, Slovenia managed to mitigate the defeat slightly (29-21).

Paula Posavec, Ćamila Mičijević, and Ana Turk scored four goals each for the Croatia national team, and Katarina Ježić, Lara Burić, and Ivana Dežić shook the net three times each.

Former Podravka player Tjaša Stanko led Slovenia, who was the most efficient in the game with eight goals.

"Today, they played one nice game. Most of the shortcomings, which we noticed in the first game and through joint training, we corrected. Each player gave a damn, and it was nice to watch," said coach Nenad Šoštarić, who is waiting on the leaders of the Croatian Handball Federation to decide on the number of players who will travel to Spain so he can define his list.

They may lead all 18 players who took part in the final preparations, but they may have to leave two handball players in Croatia if the HRS leadership decides that an expedition of 16 of them will go to Spain.

Croatia will open its appearance at the World Champs against Brazil, scheduled for Thursday, December 2, in Ciutat de Castell, starting at 6 pm. Two days later, Croatia will play against Paraguay (18:00) and on December 6 against Japan (20:30).

The best three national teams will continue the competition in the second phase, in which they will be merged with the group in which Spain, Austria, Argentina, and China will play. The two best national teams from the second phase will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Source: HRT

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

Thursday, 25 November 2021

2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Loses to Slovenia in Dramatic Finish (74:76)

November 25, 2021 - The Croatia basketball team opened the 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifiers with a loss to Slovenia in Zagreb on Thursday night. 

The Croatia basketball team opened the first round of 2023 World Cup qualifications against Slovenia at the Dražen Petrović hall in Zagreb on Thursday. The 2023 Basketball World Cup will be held in Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, from Friday, August 25, 2023, to Sunday, September 10, 2023.

Lineups

Croatia: Rogić, Marčinković, Drežnjak, Marić, Rudan. Klupa: Gnjidić, Kalajžić, Badžim, Prkačin, Gabrić, Bundović, Branković, Perković.

Slovenia: Rupnik, Blažić, Prepelič, Dimec, Murić. Klupa: Nikolić, Rebec, Lapornik, Hodžić, Čebešek, Kosi, Macura, Habot.

1st Quarter

With a 3-pointer by Bundović, Croatia led 19:16 at the end of the first 10 minutes. It was 11:3 and 16:10 for Croatia, though Slovenia equalized at 16:16.

2nd Quarter

Slovenia went into halftime leading 39:41. Rogić's 3-pointer was too early and too short for a possible lead at halftime. Croatia also had a 10-point advantage, but it was Slovenia to go into the 3rd quarter ahead. 

3rd Quarter 

Croatia led 56:55 going into the last 10 minutes of the game. Bundović was the first player to hit double-digits for Croatia against Slovenia. 

4th Quarter 

The dramatic final quarter saw Croatia maintain the lead, with two minutes to go ahead 72:69. However, Slovenia ultimately came back in the last two minutes to win it 74:76. 

About two thousand spectators came to see the much younger and promising Croatia play in Zagreb tonight. Bundović ended the game with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. 

The World Cup qualifiers are played in six qualifying cycles of two matches, divided into rounds 1 and 2, as was the case with the qualifiers for the last World Cup. The next cycles are in February 2022, June 2022, August 2022, November 2022, and February 2023.

Croatia plays Finland next in Espoo, part of the more famous Helsinki metropolitan area, on Sunday, November 28 at 18:00.

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

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Croatia Readies for 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers

November 23, 2021 - A press conference ahead of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers and Croatia's first match against Slovenia on Thursday in Zagreb. 

A press conference of the Croatia men's senior national team was held today at the KC Dražen Petrović Press Center ahead of the first qualifying matches for the World Cup, held in 2023 in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, reports HKS.

At the conference, basketball legend Dino Rađa was available to the media for all questions, this time in the capacity of the president of the HKS Expert Council, national team coach Veljko Mršić and national team members Pavle Marčinković and Lovro Gnjidić.

Dino Rađa immediately drew attention to the national team youth: “As you can see, we have rejuvenated the team as much as possible. The atmosphere at training is very good; you feel a good vibe. The guys work as honestly as possible and are unencumbered. As much as youth and inexperience can be their flaw, so much so that it can be turned into an advantage because they don't carry some former results. They have only one task, and that is to get off the court with bloody knees, and everything else will be forgiven. I wish them good luck!"

Coach Veljko Mršić continued Dino's thoughts: “True, a new national team. A combination of youth and experience will be the best possible in the last two windows in late autumn 2022 and early 2023. We will certainly be good even now because, as Dino said, the guys are doing really well. The atmosphere is great; from the first day of the gathering, they look very good in training and commitment and behavior on and off the court. I'm sure it will lead us to play good basketball, without worrying about the result, and burdened only with one thing: to be very concentrated and think of each possession as if it were the last. The players have a lot of room for improvement, and I expect us to be better from game to game."

Pavle Marčinković is one of the national team members with the most experience: “The atmosphere is excellent. Not to forget, there are those of us who have been through a couple of cycles, so even though this is a newer and younger team, our goals, postulates, and principles are still the same. We will continue to build the result on a good defense and a strong transition back and forth. I think that we have a lot to look forward to with these young players; they play important roles in their clubs, and they are full of self-confidence.”

Twenty-year-old Lovro Gnjidić is part of the senior national team for the first time: “Coming to the senior national team, after all the younger categories, is a dream come true. The team is great, we get along great, and I think we clicked well."

When asked if he was nervous about his debut, Lovro answered: "It may be small, but I am focused, and I will do my best."

Croatia - Slovenia is scheduled for Thursday, November 25, at 20:45 in KC Dražen Petrović in Zagreb. Tickets can be purchased through ulaznice.hr and at the box office on Wednesday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Thursday from 10 am until the end of halftime.

Finland - Croatia is played in Espoo, part of the metropolitan area of ​​the more famous Helsinki, on Sunday at 18:00. You can watch both matches on the SportKlub program.

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

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Croatia Handball against Slovenia in European Championship Prep Friendly Tonight

November 6, 2021 - We will watch Croatia handball against Slovenia in a friendly match in Novigrad tonight as part of the national team's European Championship preparations, which have been taking place in Poreč all week. 

The Croatia national handball team will play a friendly match against Slovenia today at 6 pm in Novigrad, broadcast on HTV 2 for everyone at home, reports HRS.

After short preparations in Poreč all week, Hrvoje Horvat's team has a match that will serve as preparation for the European Championship, which will be held from January 14 to 30, 2022, in Hungary and Slovakia.

Respecting the recommendation of the Civil Protection Headquarters, due to the increasingly difficult epidemiological situation, the number of spectators in the hall is limited.

 

"One demanding phase is coming to an end, and it was a critical phase for us because we have entered certain changes. There is a big responsibility on new players, but I believe we will respond to all these challenges. Marin Šipić felt his shoulder a little, it is nothing serious, but we invited Grahovac to take his place," said coach Hrvoje Horvat when announcing the friendly match.

According to the announcements coming from Slovenia, the national team should arrive with their complete squad. Slovenia did a great job qualifying for the 2022 European Championships. They won four and lost only one match, with one draw. At the last European Championship in 2020, they won 4th place. In Egypt, on the other hand, at this year's World Cup, they finished ninth.

The last official match between Croatia and Slovenia was in France at the World Cup. In the fight for bronze, Slovenia then celebrated 31:30 and thus reached its first and only world championship medal.

Croatia did not have Luka Cindrić during these preparations, and Fran Mileta sat out after a serious injury in a recent game. Luka Šebetić also has minor problems with his heel, but he should be available to the coach, just like Ivan Pešić, who has a sore neck.

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

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Tops Slovenia 3:0 at Poljud!

September 7, 2021 - Croatia tops Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month thanks to goals by Marko Livaja, Mario Pašalić, and Nikola Vlašić! 

Croatia met Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month at Poljud Stadium in Split. Around 20,000 spectators were expected for this match, though only those with COVID certificates were able to enter the stadium. Split Police have been vigilant since the morning to avoid any incidents. 

Recall, Croatia already played two qualifiers in the last week - against Russia in Moscow, and against Slovakia in Bratislava, taking 4 points.

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

Lineups:

Croatia: Ivušić, Juranović, Lovren, Vida, Barišić, Brozović, Kovačić, Pašalić, Livaja, Perišić, Kramarić

Slovenia: Oblak, Stojanović, Bijol, Mevlja, Balkovec, Gnezda Čerin, Stanković, Kurtic, Lovrić, Iličić, Šeško

Croatia's first attack happened in the first minute of the match. Ivan Perišić ran the ball up the wing and shot on goal. Andrej Kramarić had a chance two minutes later which went out for a goal kick. 

Another attack for Croatia in the 5th minute saw Juranović carry the ball up the right wing to find Kramarić who crossed into the box. Barašić played the ball back in from the left and Pašalić headed to the keeper. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia's first corner kick came in the 6th minute. The ball ultimately found Barašić who shot over the goal. 

Croatia's best chance came in the 9th minute - a Perišić cross made its way to the penalty box with 3 Croatia players in front of the goal. 

Another incredible chance for Croatia in the 19th minute - a beautiful play between Kramarić, Perišić, and Barašić found Andrej at the top of the box, though his shot went straight to the keeper. 

Another almost goal happened in the 25th minute - Oblak was out of his goal but Livaja was unable to shoot before the ball went out for a goal kick. 

Livaja tried his luck and shot from 30 meters out in the 28th minute which Oblak touched out for a corner. 

Then it finally happened - Hajduk superstar Marko Livaja scored for 1:0 Croatia in the 33rd minute!

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Slobodan Kadic

Pašalić had a chance two minutes later off a corner but headed to the Slovenia keeper. 

A cross in from Juranović in the 37th minute found Perišić's head but was an easy save for Oblak. Perišić dribbled up the left wing a minute later but shot over the goal. Oblak made an unbelievable save in the next minute to keep it 1:0. 

Croatia was playing really beautiful football, which was a huge improvement from their game against Slovakia. The momentum from the home fans was certainly helping. The match ended 1:0 for Croatia at the half. 

Croatia's attacking game did not dwindle to start the second half. Balls were launched into the box from both sides, though Oblak always seemed to find his way there. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Slovenia was having a hard time making it past the halfway line in the first 10 minutes of the second half. 

Slovenia subbed in Hajduk player Jan Mlakar in the 53rd minute. 

Zlatko Dalić made his first sub in the 57th minute - Marko Livaja came out for Nikola Vlašić. 

Kova dribbled through the Slovenia defense in the 60th minute which went out for a corner.

But it didn't take long for Croatia to get their second goal. A Perišič cross found Pašalić who scored for 2:0 in the 66th minute! Playing at Poljud was certainly giving these former Hajduk stars an extra push. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Mateo Kovačić was subbed off for Luka Ivanušec, Andrej Kramarić came off for Mislav Oršić, and Dejan Lovren came off for Duje Ćaleta Car in the 76th minute. 

Nikola Vlašić nearly had his chance in the 81st minute after dribbling to the goal line but was unlucky in the end. 

Ivan Perišić was subbed off for Antonio Čolak in the 85th minute. 

Oršić and Ivanušec both had chances in the 88th-90th minutes, but the game remained 2:0. Four minutes of extra time were added. 

A Hajduk hattrick tonight became a reality - Nikola Vlašić scored in the final minute of the game for 3:0! 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Ivan Perišić to Captain Croatia against Slovenia: Every Game at Poljud is Special

September 7, 2021 - Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić and Inter Milan midfielder Ivan Perišić spoke to the press ahead of Croatia's final September 2022 World Cup qualifier at Poljud on Tuesday. Ivan Perišić will captain Croatia against Slovenia. 

Croatia needs a victory at Poljud to increase points after consecutive visits to Russia and Slovakia.

"Certainly, there will be no Livaković in goal; we will not take any risks; Gvardiol is also questionable. I am not inclined to force what I am not sure of, as in the case of Modrić and Budimir. We will go with healthy and ready players. This, after all, was shown by this census at the beginning of the September cycle. Some players played a lot, Sosa, Juranović, Lovren… I'm a little scared to start a game with players who played a lot. We won’t change and invent much because we have nothing. I will say that Livaja will start the game, he has known this for several days, and I expect great things from him; he deserved it with his performances for Hajduk. In what position will he play? Everyone is there to play what is meant for them. Nobody plays a dominant position, even though the media constantly emphasize it," says Zlatko Dalić, who went on to discuss the importance of a victory and the demands of the third game in a week.

"We have to be favorites at our stadium, in front of our fans. Perhaps this will be the most difficult match for us because it is the third in just seven days against an aggressive and combative opponent who beat us in Slovenia. If we do not show the energy from Bratislava and Moscow, it will be difficult for us. However, I doubt that the audience will carry us in our motive, and I believe we will win the match. In which way, it doesn't matter; only the points are important."

Slovenia is no easy opponent. 

"Slovenia is not just Jan Oblak. Iličić rested; he is fresh and the biggest danger; he forms an attacking axis with Lovrić, and I expect Mlakar as well. Slovenia will play as much as we allow them and as we position ourselves on the field. We did not let Russia or Slovakia play with pressure; I am delighted with that game segment. We must react well to other opponents' balls again. Problems in the attack? We were a little futile going forward, but these aren’t games to die for in beauty. Points matter, not impressions. I said that I had no objections to what Croatia played, except for that final."

The team will once again be weakened with the absence of Luka Modrić.

"Luka will not be forever; we cannot keep repeating Luka, Luka, Luka. No one can replace him individually; we can only replace him as a team; we must understand that. He started training; he will be with us in October. We have to get rid of that rumor so that we can play without the captain, who we miss a lot."

There will be no lack of support at Poljud, and well-filled stands are expected.

"The support of the audience will be important to us. We remember Hungary and the fantastic atmosphere that reigned at Poljud during that match. It was an atmosphere that gave you chills. However, since I was the coach, where the point was that we played, it was beautiful for us, in Osijek, Rijeka, Zagreb… Regardless of what someone wants to do that is worthless, the Croatian people recognize the good. Therefore, I expect great support from the stands, and we will try to thank you with three points," concluded Dalić.

Ivan Perišić will lead Croatia as captain against Slovenia. Ivan is aware that the victory against Slovakia in Bratislava additionally raised the self-confidence of the national team.

"The atmosphere is great after the victory in Slovakia; it gave us extra energy. We did well in the matches against Russia and Slovakia, we did not concede a goal, and we can be satisfied with two of perhaps the most difficult away games. However, if we don't beat Slovenia, it won't mean much," said Perišić, who spoke about the hard September rhythm of these matches.

"The rhythm is tough; everything happened in a short time, it will be a little easier in October and November, but then we will already have two games a week with our clubs. Whoever survives will talk, ha, ha, ha… However, we have 25 players so that the coach can choose and distribute the forces. The skeleton of the team is there; the younger players already have a lot of serious games, they give us extra strength." 

Ivan spoke about the course of the match against Slovenia.

"We will start from the first minute to score; it will be easier if we open them at the start, as was the case against Hungary at Poljud. We definitely need to improve our attack, and we need more time for that. Poljud? Every game at Poljud is something special; it means a lot to me, family, friends, we can't wait for it to start."

Source: HNS

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Mandatory EU COVID Passports at Poljud and Croatia News Before Slovenia Qualifier

September 6, 2021 - Attending Croatia's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in Split on Tuesday? Here's all you need to know about mandatory EU COVID passports at Poljud Stadium, Spaladium Area ticket sales, and match expectations. 

Upon entering Poljud stadium for the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Slovenia, which is played on Tuesday, September 7, visitors must present an EU digital Covid certificate, the Split Police reassured. 

"We remind visitors that at the entrance they must have: purchased a personalized ticket, an identification document with a picture (identity card, passport, driver's license) based on which their identity and EU digital Covid certificate will be verified before entering," the Split Police Department said in a statement.

All three documents must have identical identification data because visitors will not be able to enter the stadium.

Croatia and Slovenia will meet on Tuesday at 8:45 pm, and the entrance to the stadium will be open from 6 pm.

"We invite visitors to come earlier so that after inspections and checks, they can enter the stadium and take their place marked on the ticket," the police explained.

They stressed that, after entering the stadium and during the match, spectators could only sit in the place specified on the ticket and cannot be in spaces not provided for them.

The police note that before, during, and after the match, they will "intensively observe the area of ​​the City of Split, visit places where fans and fan groups will gather, carry out measures and actions within the competence of the police, all to prevent illegal behavior and protect property and safety."

"We are informing the citizens that in the coming days, and especially intensively on the day of the match, police officers will be more present in the City of Split, but also on the access routes, and take measures and actions within the competence of the police to prevent illegal behavior," the police said. 

The police emphasized that on the day of the match, in Split, but also Split-Dalmatia County, a large number of fans and members of various Croatia fan groups are expected.

"We ask citizens if they notice groups of people who are behaving illegally or could behave in such a way, to call the police at 192 immediately," the police urged.

They informed the citizens that they would block the traffic on the promenade around the stadium from Monday, from 8 pm until the end of the match on Tuesday.

As of Sunday, around 9,000 tickets had been sold for the match so far. The Spaladium Arena box office will be open on Monday, September 6, from 12 to 10 pm, and on Tuesday, September 7, from 9 to 9 pm. 

Hajduk striker Marko Livaja spoke about playing at home, at Poljud. 

"I am happy to be in the national team again, and I do not burden myself with minutes; it will be the way the coach decides. My position? I haven't played at the top of the attack for six, seven years, the coach has his vision, he knows what I play at the club, but I can certainly do better," says Livaja, who knows what Poljud has to offer.

"I am convinced that the atmosphere will be great and that we will play the right game. A victory would push us close to the desired goal. We are of better quality; I expect that Slovenia will close and wait for their chance. If we are real, we will win. Kek is a proven good coach, and he certainly knows our team well, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, and then the victory should not be in question."

Source: HNS, HRT

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Wednesday, 1 September 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifier at Poljud: Croatia v. Slovenia Tickets On Sale TODAY!

September 1, 2021 - Tickets are on sale today for Croatia's 2022 World Cup qualifier at Poljud against Slovenia on September 7!

Following the decision of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters from August 30 that public gatherings are still allowed in which only persons with an EU digital COVID certificate participate, the Croatian Football Federation confirms that the Croatia-Slovenia match will be played in the presence of spectators with a valid EU digital COVID and hereby informs the public about the ticket purchasing process.

Ticket sales for the qualifying match between Croatia and Slovenia at Poljud Stadium (September 7 at 8:45 pm) begin on Wednesday, September 1 at 12 pm.

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Ticket sales are organized exclusively via the Internet at the following prices:

Ticket prices presale / until September 6 (TICKET PORTAL):
West middle: 200 kn
West: 150 kn
East middle: 120 kn
East: 100 kn
North / South: 80 kn

Ticket prices (on the day of the match):
West middle: 250 kn
West: 200 kn
East middle: 150 kn
East: 120 kn
North / South: 100 kn

ALL PERSONS COMING TO THE STADIUM WITH YOU MUST HAVE AN EU DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE.

Please note that vaccination certificates or illness certificates will not be recognized and various test results, but only the EU digital COVID certificate with a valid QR code that will be checked at the entrance.

Children under the age of 12 who have a ticket can enter the stadium without an EU digital COVID certificate if accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a certificate and a ticket.

Information on how to download EU digital COVID certificates can be found at the following link: https://eudigitalnacovidpotvrda.hr/hr/cesta-pitanja.

Fans who have not been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 on arrival at the stadium will be tested through rapid antigen tests. The price of the test will be 50 kn per person, and the test point will be open in front of the Spaladium Arena in the following terms:

Monday, Sept. 6, from 12:00 to 22:00
Tuesday, Sept. 7, 9:00 to 21:00

Ticket sales include e-tickets that the customer must download and print. Only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase by filling in the required personal information.

Due to special epidemiological measures in the stands, one person can buy up to four (4) tickets. In addition to their data, the buyer enters data on another fan for whom they buy tickets, where another fan does not necessarily have to be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, but cannot be a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia due to UEFA epidemiological measures banning ticket sales to visiting fans for September qualifiers.

Tickets will be available online, where you can find detailed information on ticket sales and payment methods.

"We warn the fans that when entering the stadium, security will check the accuracy of personal data on the tickets and that fans who try to enter the stadium with a ticket in another name will be denied entry. Therefore, we warn fans not to buy tickets on the "black market" with other information on the ticket," concluded HNS.

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Ticket Prices Announced for Croatia and Slovenia World Cup Qualifier at Poljud

August 25, 2021 - Ticket prices for the 2022 World Cup qualifying match between Croatia and Slovenia have been announced by HNS. However, the National Civil Protection Headquarters still needs to determine if spectators will be allowed, with a decision set for September 1. Croatia and Slovenia are due to meet on September 7 at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

The 2nd session of the Croatian Football Federation Executive Board was held in Zabok in the Gjalski Castle, hosted by the Krapina-Zagorje County Football Federation, announced HNS on Wednesday.

The HNS Executive Board has determined the ticket prices for the 2022 World Cup qualifying match between Croatia and Slovenia (September 7 at 20:45), which will be held in the presence of spectators if permitted by measures to be announced by the National Civil Protection Headquarters on September 1.

The following prices have been determined:
West middle: 200 kn presale / 250 kn on the day of the match
West: 150 kn presale / 200 kn on the day of the match
East center: 120 kn presale / 150 kn on the day of the match
East: 100 kn presale / 120 kn on the day of the match
North: 80 kn presale / 100 kn on the day of the match
South: 80 kn presale / 100 kn on the day of the match

Information on ticket sales will be published after the Headquarters decide if the match will be played in front of an audience.

The Executive Board also adopted all the materials needed to hold the women's football competition - calendar, leadership, and competition propositions for the 1st HNLŽ, 2nd HNLŽ, 1st HNL pioneers, HNKŽ, and women's youth at the center level, as well as the list of refs for these competitions. 

The IO appointed the presidents of the HNS commissions and adopted the list of delegates for the 3rd HNL.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 21 August 2021

U19 Croatia Handball Team in European Championship Final!

August 21, 2021 - The U19 Croatia handball team will play in the final of the European Championship against Germany on Sunday at 5 pm in Varaždin!

A medal has been secured, and Krešo Ivanković's team has the opportunity to become Croatia's second generation with European gold in the cadet category, reports Jutarnji List.

So far, these have been U18 competitions 18, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Euros were not held last year, and as a U19 competition was postponed to this year. Croatia has gold from the U18 European Championship in 2006 and two silver medals, one from 2004 and 2016.

The semifinal between Croatia and Slovenia was a duel of teams that know each other at heart. After all, before the Championship, they played two preparatory matches - one in which Slovenia celebrated, and the other a draw. However, in the most crucial match, Croatia was better.

It was a victory won primarily by Croatia's defense, a victory they controlled from the beginning, although Slovenia was always close. Slovenia, however, could not reach Croatia's advantage, which for most of the match was +3.

With two goals by David Jurišić, Croatia went to +3 for the first time in the 9th minute, and even then, Slovenia had to call a timeout. Then, Ivan Barbić increased the lead to +4 (6:2) in the 13th minute. After that, Croatia had +4 (7:3 and 8:4) on two more occasions, and in the 27th minute, Slovenia came to -1, which is how the first half ended.

Dominik Kuzmanović recorded six saves from 15 shots on goal (40%) in the first 30 minutes, and Denis Strašek had five saves, of which one 7-meter throw taken by Barbić. Lisac and Jurišić, who also played the whole game in defense, had three goals each, but they missed goals from the left outside (Grubišić 1/4 and Hršak 0/1).

The second half started with Kuzmanović's defense, and with two goals by Jurišić, Croatia went to +3 again (12:9) in the 33rd minute. Croatia mostly maintained that advantage until the end. The closest Slovenia managed was -2.

In the last 10 minutes, Croatia received three goals from Patrik Hršak from the left-wing while Slovenia tried to press in the end, but it didn't help. Croatia's David Jurišić scored seven goals from 13 attempts, Barbić scored 6 out of 7, and Lisac 6 out of 9, but the key to victory was the defense.

Croatia played six games in this Championship and has lost only once.

This Croatia squad already has one gold from EYOF two years ago, but now they have the opportunity to receive one from a more important competition.

Croatia will face Germany in the final, which beat Croatia in the last game of the second round.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

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