Monday, 25 April 2022

Queens of Shock: Croatia Qualifies for Women's EHF EURO 2022!

April 25, 2022 - In the great atmosphere of Žatika Hall in Poreč, the weakened Croatia women's senior national team defeated the Czech Republic 33:30 in the 6th round of Group 4 qualifiers for the women's EHF EURO 2022, thus qualifying for the tournament hosted by Slovenia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia at the end of the year!

Croatia started with Ivana Kapitanović in goal, Paula Posavec and Ana Turk on the wings, Ana Debelić as the pivot, and Ćamila Mičijević, Valentina Blažević and Dejana Milosavljević in the outside positions. Stela Posavec entered the defense instead of Valentina Blažević.

Croatia opened the match well, with Ivana Kapitanović especially good in goal. She amassed four saves in the first six minutes! Croatia took the 4:1 lead, and the Czech Republic scored their only goal from seven meters. Unfortunately, Stela Posavec was injured in those moments, so the coach had to switch up the defense. The main Czech threat, Marketa Jerabkova, was left without a shot in the first ten minutes, so the visiting coach quickly pulled her to the bench. But after one technical error, one counter, and a great save, the Czech Republic quickly returned to the match.

After only ten minutes of play, the Czech Republic changed its defense. They went from 6-0 to 5-1. Nevertheless, Croatia managed to keep its lead. After the first quarter, Croatia was up by three goals - 7:4. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic again made good use of the new exclusion and again came to just one goal behind. In the 21st minute, they equalized and then took the first lead in the game at 9:10. The Czech Republic then went on to score three goals. 

Croatia called a time-out. Four minutes before the half, the Czech Republic went up by two - 10:12. A minute and a half before halftime, Croatia was even, and the Czech Republic took the lead at halftime for 13:14. 

The second half did not start according to plan. In less than three minutes, Croatia missed three clear chances, and the Czech Republic increased its advantage to two - 14:16. Slight nervousness was more obvious both on the court and in the stands.

But Croatia did not give up. In the 41st minute, they equalized at 18:18 and a minute later took the lead - 19:18. A full eight minutes after, it was goal for goal. The Czech Republic was the first to burst under pressure. In the 48th minute, Croatia went up by three - 24:21.

At one point, the Czech Republic again threatened to come back, but Croatia found new strength and went up by three in the 52nd minute for 27:24, repeated it in the 54th at 28:25, and once again in the 56th for 29:26.

Two minutes before the end, Croatia was again up by three goals and confirmed the victory in the final minute!

With this victory, Croatia has thus qualified for their 12th European Championship in history. The "Queens of Shock" will defend the bronze in Slovenia, Montenegro, and North. Macedonia from November 4 to 20 this year.

Ivana Kapitanović marked this match with 20 saves. Valentina Blažević scored 9 goals, Dejana Milosavljević scored 5, and Ćamila Mičijević scored 5.  

Source: HRS

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

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Croatia Women's Handball Team Prepare for Crucial Euro 2022 Qualifiers

April 19, 2022 - Croatia women's handball coach Nenad Šoštarić gathered the team in Zagreb on Monday before their final two and absolutely must-win Euro qualifiers.

There were 21 players on the primary player list, which was published ten days ago, including five goalkeepers. Three of them, or the first three goalkeepers, suffered injuries. Monday's gathering showed that Tea Pijević is dropping out. Ivana Kapitanović is also suffering from pain. Lucija Bešen received the green light from her doctor to play on Saturday, but she hasn't trained for ten days and is also in question, reports HRS.

That is how Antonija Tucaković found her place in the national team, who has been defending the goal for Podravka Vegeta for the last few months. After a long time, Gabrijela Bartulović (formerly Bešen), the older sister of Lucija Bešen, who has been playing for the Hungarian team NKKA Dujnavarosi since this season, is again on the national team.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the bad news. Captain Katarina Ježić will also miss these two games due to injury. Although she arrived in Zagreb, there is also a doubt that Ćamila Mičijević will play, and she had already missed two matches against France. When adding that there is no Larissa Kalaus, it is clear that coach Nenad Šoštarić has some big problems and shoes to fill. 

The national team gathered in Zagreb at the Westin Hotel, where it will stay until Tuesday before traveling to Graz. After that, Croatia will play Ukraine at the Raiffeisen Sportpak Hall on Wednesday, April 20 at 18:00. This is the 5th round of qualifications for EURO 2022, which was supposed to be played in Zaporizhia, but it was transferred to Austria due to the war in Ukraine. After that, the national team will go directly to Poreč, where they will play against the Czech Republic on April 24, also at 18:00 in the last match of the 4th qualification group.

Croatia lost to Ukraine in the 1st round of qualifications in Rijeka (22:23). After that, Croatia beat the Czech Republic away and was defeated twice by France. At the moment, Croatia has two points. Since Ukraine has the same number of points but two games less, the calculation is obvious. Croatia must win both remaining games to be among the two best teams in their group and advance to the European Championships, where they could defend the bronze medal won at Euro 2020.

The European Championships will be held in Slovenia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia at the end of the year.

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

Friday, 13 August 2021

Croatia Women's Handball Team Draws Group G at World Championships in Spain

August 13, 2021 - The Croatia women's handball team draws Group G at the World Championships to be held this December in Spain. 

The Croatia women's handball team will play in Group G at the World Championships to be held in Spain from December 2 to 19 this year, and its rivals will be the second representative of Asia and the first and third representatives of South and Central America, the draw in Castellon decided on Friday. 

Croatia was the winner in the draw and in the end, avoided all other European selections in the first round. Croatia's rivals in Spain will be found out after the Asian Continental Championships in Jordan from September 15 to 25, and South and Central America in Paraguay from October 5 to 9.

South Korea won the title at the last Asian Championship, with Japan in second, and it is likely that is who Croatia will face. The bronze was won by China, and in fourth was Kazakhstan.

In South and Central America, Brazil should be expected in Croatia's group. Brazil is followed by Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile in terms of value.

The 2021 Women's Handball World Championship, in which 32 national teams will take part, will be played in Castellon, Torrevije, Leiria, and Granollers.

Recall, the Croatia women's handball team won the bronze medal at last year's European Championship. The Netherlands will try to defend its World Championship title from 2019.  

2021 World Championship Draw:

Group A: France, Montenegro, Angola, Slovenia

Group B: Russia, Serbia, Cameroon, Poland

Group C: Norway, Romania, Asia 3, Asia 4

Group D: Netherlands, Sweden, North America and the Caribbean, Asia 5

Group E: Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia

Group F: Denmark, Asia 1, Tunisia, Congo

Group G: CROATIA, Asia 2, South America 1, South America 3

Group H: Spain, Austria, South America 2, Asia 6

Source: HRT

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Top Events in Croatia from April 12-18, 2021

April 18, 2021 – Apart from the news about TCN's CEO Paul Bradbury being sued by the Croatian National Tourist Board, this week has been full of many other exciting yet inspiring news stories. Here are TCN's five biggest events in Croatia from April 12 to 18, 2021.

With the worsening epidemiological situation and tightening measures in four Croatian counties on Monday, the week didn't start very promising nor positive. However, a lot can happen in seven days, and we list five top news stories from Croatia.

Highlights of the week: Croatian National Tourist Board sues Paul Bradbury

Croatian media have been flooded this week with the news about the two lawsuits against TCN's CEO Paul Bradbury, submitted by the Croatian National Tourist Board because of Bradbury's criticisms of their work.

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Source: Telegram.hr

Namely, CNTB filed two lawsuits against Bradbury, one for a Facebook joke he posted and the other for statements he said in an article on the Croatian portal Index. There was simply no stopping talking about these controversial lawsuits that appalled and disappointed the public this week. Read all the details about the first and second lawsuits in our articles.

Highlights of the week: Rimac Automobili presented a new incredible campus

On the list of people who promote Croatia in the best possible way, Mate Rimac takes one of the leading spots. His company Rimac Automobili never ceases to surprise with the novelties, such as the latest news about constructing the impressive new campus with numerous facilities.

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Source: Rimac Automobili

See the impressive video and photos of the forthcoming Rimac campus that stunned the whole of Croatia this week.

Highlights of the week: Many fantastic flight news for Croatia

Although all travel is currently questionable due to the epidemiological situation, hope is still restored by numerous information about flights to and from Croatia published this week.

Thus, for example, Israeli El Al and Arkia flights to Croatia continue, as well as Austrian flights, Polish LOT, Finnair, and Eurowings.

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Split airport by Romulić and Stojčić

And even though Croatia will have to wait a bit longer for introducing direct flights from the USA, from this week, the travelers can get from Sarajevo to Chicago by Eastern Airlines.

Highlights of the week: Croatia women's handball national team won HEP Croatia Cup

Croatian athletes do not stop surprising us positively from week to week!

After defeating the current world champions, the Netherlands, the Croatia women's senior national team also defeated the former world champions Brazil and won the HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč.

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Source: Hrvatski rukometni savez

Highlights of the week: Klepetan returned to Malena again!

And to sweeten this week, the most famous Croatian love story got its happy follow-up. For the 19th consecutive year, the white stork Klepetan has returned from the south to the nest of his beloved Malena, continuing one of the most beautiful animal love stories in the world!

Spring may not have returned in the form we know, given that this week's temperatures in Croatia are more like autumn's, but it seems like the natural world is very much following its course.

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Saturday, 17 April 2021

Croatia Women's Handball Win HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč!

April 17, 2021 - The Croatia women's handball team is the winner of the HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč!

After defeating the current world champions, the Netherlands, the Croatia women's senior national team also defeated the former world champions Brazil and became the winner of the HEP Croatia Cup. In a tough match with a lot of equal play, Croatia did better at the end of the second half and celebrated 24:21.

Croatia only made one change compared to the match against the Netherlands, and instead of Nataša Miočinović, the young Ema Guskić entered the game. Marijeta Vidak remained in the stands as in the first match. On the other hand, Brazil included Gabriela Moreschi in the team instead of their official first goalkeeper Barbara Arenhat. Croatia opened the match with Tea Pijević, Andrea Šimar, Nikolina Zadravec, Ana Debelić, Dora Krsnik, Valentina Blažević, and Ćamila Mičijević.

Croatia took the lead first, then Brazil went to +1. After 10 minutes, it was 3:3, and in the final five minutes, it was 8:10 for Brazil with goals by Anastacio and Amorim.

Milosavljević helped return Croatia's lead from the seven-meter throw. The battle continued in the second half. Brazil was powerful and physical, but Croatia matched them well. The defense worked, Pijević was solid in goal, and in the 49th minute, Mičijević scored for 18:16, Croatia's first +2 lead.

Milosavljević's made it +3. Croatia kept that advantage until a minute and a half before the end when Mičijević was excluded. Brazil scored from the penalty spot. Croatia lost the ball in the attack, but Vieira missed, and Krsnik solved all doubts in the last seconds with a goal for the final 24:21.

The most efficient players for Croatia were Dejana Milosavljević with seven goals and Ćamila Mičijević with six goals. Tea Pijević recorded 10 saves. Bruno de Paula was the best for Brazil with five goals.

Croatia: Bešen (0+1), Pijević (10); Zadravec 1, Plahinek, Krsnik 1, S. Posavec 1, Mičijević 6, Milosavljević 7 (4), D. Kalaus, Ježić 2, Japundža, Franušić, Šimara 2, Debelić 3, Guskić, Blažević 1. TRENERICA: Snježana Petika.

Brazil: Moreschi (5), Arruda (5); De Paula 5, Arujo 1, Amorim 3, Barbosa, Araujo 2, Cardoso 5(3), Vieira 2, Guarieiro, Bitolo, Anastacio 2, Matieli, Da Rocha, Costa 1, Ventura. IZBORNIK: Jorge Duenas.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

HEP Croatia Cup: Croatia Women's Handball Tops World Champion Netherlands, Again!

April 15, 2021 - At the opening of the HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč, the Croatia women's handball team defeated the Netherlands 24:23, showing that their magic from the European Championships in Denmark is still there.

They delighted us at the European Championships in Denmark, told the most beautiful story, and won the bronze medal, proving that there is hope in Croatia women's handball as well. The 'Queens of Shock' again surprised the current world champion, the Netherlands, to open the never stronger HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč.

In the first match after the Euros, Croatia again met the Netherlands, a team they beat 27:25 in the preliminary group in Denmark. Both national teams came with different lineups, and the Netherlands were without a couple of players due to COVID-19. Croatia was led for the first time by coach Snježana Petika, the first assistant coach to Nenad Šoštarić, who is in quarantine.

Croatia opened the match with Pijević, Šimar, Zadravec, Debelić, Mićijević, Blažević and Krsnik. 

Croatia took the 5:3 lead, followed by a 5:0 series by the Netherlands. Petika called a time-out at 5:8, and Croatia's turnaround followed. The defense was strengthened, the goals and counters were no longer missed. Wester defended well, but Pijević was even better. Dora Kalaus played an important role, and Croatia was up 13:10.

It was 20:15 for Croatia in the 46th minute, and just when everything seemed to be settled, the world champions did not give up so easily. In a dramatic ending, the Netherlands returned at 24:23 in the last minute, Rompen then defended the 7-meter throw of Blažević, but Croatia managed to defend, and in the end, celebrated the deserved victory.

Camila Mičijević was again Croatia's top scorer with seven goals. In addition to goalkeeper Pijević, Krsnik should also be praised, who scored five goals, while Zadravec, D. Kalaus, Ježić, Šimara, Debelić, and Blažević added two goals each.

Brazil and the Netherlands will play in Poreč from 6 pm on Thursday (Planet Sport), while Croatia and Brazil will close the HEP Croatia cup on Friday (8 pm, RTL2).

Source: Jutarnji, HRS

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Monday, 21 December 2020

Senior State Officials Receive Bronze Medallist Women's Handball Team

ZAGREB, Dec 21, 2020 - After being welcomed at Zagreb airport, the bronze medallist national women's handball team was received at the National and University Library by President Zoran Milanovic, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, and Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

Milanovic underscored that the handball team played intelligently. "If I were to compare that to Greek mythology, you would be something between Odysseus and Achilles. Neither the strongest nor the biggest but the best. You had against you Cyclopses who underestimated you. I noticed that that bothered you a lot. Considering I know the Danes, that doesn't surprise me. They are combative and think that weight and size can outwit intelligence and dexterity," said Milanovic.

"Thank you for the joy of the game because sport is first and foremost a game, a love, a passion and only then a state and a nation," he added.

Jandrokovic said that the team brought some joy in these difficult times. "Your victory and success are all the greater because we didn't expect them and there is nothing better in sport then when you are underestimated and arrive as an outsider and then achieve such a great result," he underscored.

Plenkovic said that he followed their games with great pride.

"You have made all of Croatia proud. Thank you for a beautiful sport story. I am truly happy that the women's national team has joined the success of men's handball. Thank you once again and sincere congratulations," said Plenkovic.

Minister Brnjac congratulated the team for this historic medal. "You have confirmed that athletes are our best and greatest ambassadors. This medal has brought us optimism and hope in these times," said Brnjac, congratulating coach Nenad Sostaric and his associates.

Croatia won the bronze medal at the European Women's Handball Championship in Denmark on Sunday after beating the hosts 25-19.

This is the first medal for the Croatian national women's handball team in major competitions.

Croatia has not competed in world women's handball championships since 2011.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Croatia v. Denmark Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first half ended at 11:11. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 19 December 2020

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

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

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

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

Norway had two big series in the second half

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

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

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

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

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

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

Croatia has already achieved the best result at the European Championships

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Index.hr

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.

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