Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Goran Perkovac Replaces Hrvoje Horvat as Croatia Men's Handball Coach

February 1, 2023 - Goran Perkovac, the captain of the Croatia national team that won gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, is the new coach of the Croatia men's handball team. 

Hrvoje Horvat is no longer the coach of the Croatia men's handball team. Immediately after the World Handball Championship, where Croatia took ninth place in the overall standings, the Croatian Handball Federation assessed that result as a failure, but also prolonged the decision on Horvat's fate until the statement of professional coordinator Lino Červar. The decision has been made, and Horvat has been removed from his position. Goran Perkovac will succeed him.

Goran Perkovac was the captain of the Croatia national team that won gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The native of Slatina was also the world runner-up at the World Champs in Iceland in 1995, the European bronze medalist in Portugal in 1994, and a double gold medalist from the Mediterranean Games. In addition, Perkovac was the coach of Switzerland, Greece, and Germany for many years. 

"After the last meeting of the Croatia men's senior national team at the World Handball Championship in Sweden and Poland and the victory against Bahrain (43:32), i.e., 9th place, the Croatian Handball Federation informs the public that it is not satisfied with the achieved result and considers it a failure. The minimum goal placed in front of the coach and the national team was the quarter-finals.

Since it has not been realized, the Croatian Handball Federation is waiting for the statement of professional coordinator Lino Červar about the status of the coach and the further sequence of events. Namely, the Croatian Handball Federation system is set up so that the coordinator proposes the national team coaches. After that, the decision is adopted or rejected by the Croatian Handball Federation Board of Directors," HRS announced eight days ago.

Horvat was Červar's assistant on the national team and succeeded him as the coach. However, he failed to return Croatia to the top of the world handball, and he will be remembered for the bizarre interview after Croatia's last match at the World Championship in Sweden and Poland.

Recall Horvat stood in front of RTL cameras and started the conversation by creating a heart with his fingers and directing it toward the camera.

"At the moment, I can't wait to see my family, then I will decide on my future," he answered. When asked about a possible resignation, he opened his mouth, pretending to answer whether he had the support of the Croatian Handball Federation. However, he didn't want to say whether that result was a failure. Instead, he said that he made some promises and that those were too intimate answers.

Source: Index.hr

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

Croatia Beats Bahrain, Needs a Miracle from Egypt for World Handball Championship Quarter-finals

January 23, 2023 - Croatia beat Bahrain 43:32 in their last match of the second round. They now need a miracle from Egypt tonight for a chance at the World Handball Championship quarter-finals. 

Croatia met Bahrain in their last match of the second round on Monday in Malmo, Sweden. While Croatia can only theoretically advance to the quarter-finals, a win was crucial for the Olympic Games qualifiers.  

Hrvoje Horvat's team needed a convincing victory against Bahrain to catch up to Denmark. And in addition to a win, Croatia also needs Egypt to beat Denmark tonight at 8:30 pm. Denmark currently has a goal difference of +39, and Croatia +17. 

It is important to note that Egypt has already secured a spot in the quarter-finals because it is in first place with eight points, while Denmark has a point less.

As mentioned above, with a victory of any kind, Croatia secures a place in the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games. Croatia can thank their outstanding game against Denmark for that. 

Lineups

Croatia: Šunjić, Kuzmanović; Duvnjak, Gojun, Kraljević, Šarac, Karačić, Musa, Šebetić, Cindrić, Grahovac, Martinović, Šušnja, Šipić, Glavaš, Jelinić

Bahrain: Eid, Al Salatna, Al Samahiji, Ali, Isa, Qambar, Abdulredha, Fadhul, M. Ali, M. Ali, Alzaimoor, Mahfoodh, Ali, Mohamed, Mohamed, Al Sayyad

Match recap 

Bahrain scored the first goal of the game before Croatia equalized in the 2nd minute for 1:1. Martinovic scored for 3:3 in the 3rd and Sarac for 3:3 a minute later. Both teams had used every attack by the 5th minute - 4:4

Cindric and Martinovic made it 6:5, but Croatia's defense was having trouble. Bahrain was going goal for goal. While Bahrain went ahead for a few minutes, Karacic brought Croatia back to 8:8 in the 14th minute. 

And by the 17th minute, both teams were still equal - 11:11. 

Croatia finally went up by two goals in the 20th minute, but by the 22nd, Bahrain returned for 13:13. 

Croatia got it together in the final five minutes of the first half and was up by three goals in the 29th minute. But Croatia only went into halftime ahead by one goal - 17:16. 

By the 34th minute, Croatia went up by three goals again, and by the 39th minute, it was 22:19. Martinovic made it 24:19 in the 40th. 

It was 28:20 for Croatia in the 44th minute and 29:22 in the 46th. 

Croatia's attack was playing well, and Cindric scored for 31:23 with 12 minutes to go. 

Croatia went up by ten goals in the 51st minute and up by 12 goals with two minutes to go! It was 41:29 with a minute and a half left. 

The match ended 43:32 for Croatia. Martinovic was named the man of the match. 

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

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Croatia and Denmark Draw in Dramatic World Handball Championship Second Round (32:32)

January 19, 2023 - Croatia and Denmark played 32:32 in the first match of the World Handball Championship second round. With this result, Croatia still has a shot at making the quarterfinals. 

Croatia opened the second round of the World Handball Championship brilliantly against the world champion Denmark on Thursday.

This was a key match for Hrvoje Horvat's team, who, after losing to Egypt in the first round, ideally needed to win all three matches in the second round. However, even then, their road to the quarterfinals remains uncertain. 

Denmark finished the first round with three victories. They beat Belgium (43:28), Bahrain (36:21), and Tunisia (34:21). In total, they scored 113 goals and conceded only 70. For the sake of comparison, Croatia scored 98 goals and conceded 77 goals in three matches.

Match recap

Denmark scored the first goal of the game, but Cindrić found the goal in the next attack. Cindrić scored for 2:1 Croatia before Hansen equalized for 2:2. Cindrić made it 3:2. 

Glavaš scored a penalty, then Pytlick scored Denmark's third goal of the match. Jacobsen equalized, and Cindrić scored for 5:4 in the 8th minute. 

Šarac scored for 6:4, and Šipić for 8:7 in the 13th minute. Denmark equalized a minute later. 

Croatia went to +2 in the 16th minute and +3 in the 18th minute - 11:8!

A penalty taken by Glavaš made it 12:4 for Croatia a minute later. Jelinić scored for 13:9 in the 22nd minute. 

Denmark almost came back, but Croatia went back to +2 in the 26th minute - 14:12. 

With two minutes to go in the first half, Croatia was only up by 1. Cindrić scored his 5th goal of the game in the last 40 seconds of the half - 16:14.

The first half ended 16:15 for Croatia. 

Croatia made it 18:16 in the first two minutes of the second half. Denmark equalized two minutes later at 18:18. And again in the 38th minute at 20:20.

It was goal for goal. 

Denmark finally retook the lead in the 41st minute - 22:21. 

Hansen scored a penalty for 24:23 in the 43rd minute. And 26:25 for Denmark with 15 minutes left. 

Šunjić was brilliant in Croatia's goal in the next few minutes to keep it 26:26.

Martinović put Croatia back in the lead for 27:26 in the 49th minute! Denmark equalized in the 50th minute. 

Šunjić saved Croatia from another Denmark lead... and Šipić made it 28:27 in the 52nd! But it was 29:29 with 6 minutes to go. And 30:30 with 5 minutes to go.

Denmark retook the lead with 4 minutes to, and Croatia called a timeout.  

Šipić equalized at 31:31 - 3 minutes were left on the clock. 

Denmark was awarded a penalty with two minutes to go. Hansen scored for 32:31. Karačić scored for 32:32 with 30 seconds left! 

The match ended 32:32. This was a key match in the fight for the World Championship quarterfinals. While Horvat's team played a great game against the current World Champions, they fell a little short of victory. 

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

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

2023 World Handball Championship: Croatia Beats Morocco 36:24, Moves to Second Round

January 17, 2023 - Croatia closes out the group stage of the 2023 World Handball Championship with a win against Morocco. Croatia moves to the second round against Denmark, Bahrain, and Belgium.

Croatia played their third and last group stage match against Morocco at the World Handball Championship held in Sweden and Poland.

Coach Hrvoje Horvat made one change in goal, so instead of Dominik Kuzmanović, Mate Šunjić was in the lineup.

Croatia was the big favorite, but after opening with a loss to Egypt, they couldn't afford another shock.

Unfortunately, points from this match did not bring Croatia any advantage in the next round because Morocco is last in their group.

In the second round of the competition in Malmö, Croatia will play Denmark, Bahrain, and Belgium.

Match recap

Morocco scored the first goal of the game. Ivan Martinović equalized for 1:1. Duvnjak stole the ball, and Jelinić brought Croatia the 2:1 lead in the 3rd minute. 

Morocco equalized in the 4th minute and then took the lead in the 5th. And Morocco was up by three goals in the 9th minute. 

Cindric reduced their lead to 4:8 in the 12th minute, and after being down by five goals, Croatia was behind by two in the 17th minute. Jelinić scored an empty goal for 8:9 in the 18th minute. And it was 9:10 a minute after that. 

Glavaš scored a penalty for 10:10 in the 20th minute, and Cindric put Croatia back ahead at 12:11 in the 24th minute. 

Martinović scored for 14:12 with two minutes left in the first half, and Cindrić made it 15:12 with a minute left!

The first half ended at 15:13 for Croatia. 

Glavaš scored to open the second half for 16:13, Croatia's most significant advantage. Cindrić scored for 18:14 in the 33rd minute. 

Cindrić was on fire - scoring again for +5 - 19:14 in the 34th minute! Then, Jelinić and Martinović scored for Croatia's biggest advantage - +6.

And it was 24:17 Croatia in the 41st! And 26:20 in the 47th. 

Sebetić scored for a convincing 27:20 with 12 minutes to go. 

Cindrić nailed his ninth goal in the 53rd minute for 29:23, and Sipic scored for 30:23 in the next play. 

With two minutes left in the game it was 34:24, and with a minute to go - 35:24. Šarac scored for 36:24, which was the final result. 

Luka Cindric was named the man of the match!

Croatia and Denmark play next in the second round on Thursday. We are still waiting for the confirmed time.

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

Friday, 13 January 2023

2023 World Handball Championships: Egypt Surprises Croatia in Game 1 (31:22)

January 13, 2023 - Not the best start for Croatia at the 2023 World Handball Championships, who lost to Egypt 31:22 on Friday night in Group G. 

The Croatia men's handball team began its World Championship campaign against Egypt in Group G on Friday. The USA surprised Morocco by winning 28:27 in the first game of this group.

Egypt is the most difficult test in the group for Croatia as the strongest African national team and one of the best national teams outside of Europe. Croatia had played against African national teams 13 times and recorded 13 victories before this game.

It was the fifth match between Croatia and Egypt at the World Championships. They played for the first time in 1995 when Croatia won (30:16). The second meeting took place in Portugal in 2003, when Croatia was better in the second round (29:23), followed by victories in 2013 in the group (24:20) and in 2017 in the round of 16 (21:19 ). 

Match recap

60' Egypt beats Croatia 31:22. This is one of Croatia's worst defeats to open the World Championships. Croatia plays the USA next on Sunday at 20:30.

59' Šipić scores for 30:22

58' Egypt makes it 30:21

53' Glavaš scores a penalty for 29:21

52' And then it was 28:19

50' Croatia calls a timeout

44' Šipić scores for -7 
43' Egypt went up by 8 goals
42' Egypt takes the biggest lead yet - +7 

40' Egypt goes to +6 

37' Penalty for the Croatia bench, Ivano Balić loses his temper, two minutes for Croatia
35' Karačić scores
35' Kuzmanović defends, but Egypt goes up to +5
33' Egypt scored for +4 after three and a half minutes of play

32' Croatia misses an opportunity to reduce the result to two goals, Musa is excluded
31' Šipić scores

30' First half ends 16:12 for Egypt

28' Mahmoud scores for Egypt, Musa returns to -4

27' Karačić scores his second goal, Egypt leads 15:11
25' Sebetic scores
24' Two minutes for Martinović, Egypt uses an extra player, and Mahmoud scores
23' Egypt scores, as does Martinović 
22' Šipić scores

19' Egypt goes to +6, but Karačić also scores

17' Two minutes for Egypt, Y.Elderaa is sent off
16' Karačić forces a penalty. Glavaš scores again, but so does Egypt
15' Two quick goals from Egypt, who goes to +5, Croatia calls a time-out

11' Glavaš scores for 6:4, Mohamed retaliates and Egypt leads 7:4
8' Martinović scores for 4:2
5' First exclusion, Duvnjak gets two minutes

5' Shebib brings Egypt 3:1

4' Egypt made it 2:1

2' Egypt was successful in the first attack, and Filip Glavaš countered for 1:1
1' The match has started! The judging pair are Spaniards Garcia Ignacio and Marin Andreu

Croatia has participated in the World Championships since 1995 and has not missed a single competition so far. Croatia has won five medals - one gold (2003), three silvers (1995, 2005, 2009), and one bronze (2013) at the previous World Championships. 

This is Egypt's 17th appearance at the World Championship. Its greatest success is fourth place in France in 2001. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Egypt also finished in fourth place. 

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

Monday, 9 January 2023

Croatia Cup 2023: Croatia Wins Poreč Tournament as Last Test before Handball World Champs

January 9, 2023 - The Croatia men's handball team beat Israel 37:23 on Sunday in Poreč to win the Croatia Cup 2023, their final preparation before the Handball World Championships begin this week!

The Croatia men's handball team defeated Israel in the 3rd round of the Croatia Cup 2023 (37:23) to win the tournament! It was Croatia's last test before the Handball World Championships, which starts this week in Sweden and Poland. Croatia plays in Group G against Egypt, the USA, and Morocco.

Compared to Croatia's first match against North Macedonia at the start of the tournament, coach Hrvoje Horvat left Mate Šunjić and Nikola Grahovac in the stands, and Dino Slavić and Leon Šušnja were in the lineup. Recall Croatia beat North Macedonia 40:34 at the opening of the Croatia Cup, and North Macedonia defeated Israel 38:37 in the 2nd round. 

Croatia's starting lineup against Israel featured Dino Slavić in goal, Lovro Mihić and Paolo Kraljević on the wings, and Željko Musa, Domagoj Duvnjak, Igor Karačić, and Ivan Martinović. 

Croatia took 10 minutes to find their rhythm, after which they took a 7:3 lead. At halftime, they were up by 10 points (20:10). Six minutes before the end of the game, Croatia was up by 13 points (34:21), and in the end, the game finished 37:23.

Croatia was led by Ivan Martinović with eight goals, while Luka Cindrić scored six and Igor Karačić scored five. For Israel, Adir Cohen was the top scorer with eight goals.

The Croatian Handball Federation and Sportske Novosti also presented the best players of 2022 during halftime. Ana Debelić was named the best female handball player for the second year, while Luka Cindrić was again named the best male handball player. 

Croatia will play its first match at the World Championships on Friday, January 13 (8:30 pm) against the national team of Egypt. You can find Croatia's schedule below.

Group G (Jönköping)

1st round, January 13
18:00 Morocco - United States of America
20:30 Egypt - CROATIA

2nd round, January 15
18:00 Egypt - Morocco
20:30 CROATIA - United States of America

3rd round, January 17
18:00 United States of America - Egypt
20:30 CROATIA - Morocco

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

Monday, 4 July 2022

Croatia Women's Handball Team Tops Serbia for Mediterranean Games Final!

July 4, 2022 - The Croatia women's handball team advanced to the Mediterranean Games final in Oran after defeating Serbia 31-20 (16-12) in the semi-final match.

The Croatia women's handball team is in the Mediterranean Games final in Oran! They defeated Serbia, a favorite in the tournament, by 11 goals.

Croatia opened the game well and Tena Petika scored for 2:0, which gave Croatia security. For the majority of the first half, Serbia went for goals, but in the 15th minute, Croatia took the lead again. Katarina Pavlović lifted Croatia to +3 in the 20th minute and in the 28th Croatia went to +5.

The second half was even better - Croatia reached 23:15 in just 10 minutes and Serbia had lost hope. Croatia's defense remained solid and the offense kept the advantage for a quiet finish. Croatia was even better at the end in a clash when the defense excelled and we scored easy goals. 

Katarina Pavlović and Tina Barišić scored eight goals each. Lana Jarak was excellent in the second half scoring 7 out of 7 goals. Antonija Tucaković was also great in goal, making 13 saves. Aleksandra Vukajlović scored eight goals for Serbia.

"Today, we primarily played as a team and had an excellent defense, which can be seen from the 20 goals conceded. We played smart, we prepared well for this match. We are very proud of this result, the medal won, and we are going to show in the final that the game against Spain was just one bad day and try to win the gold," said Sara Šenvald.

This is the third women's handball final at the Mediterranean Games. Croatia has won one so far in 1993 against France and lost one in 1997 also against France. Croatia thus returns to the final after 25 years.

In the second semi-final, Spain defeated Portugal 28:26 with great difficulty. Carmen Campos scored 10 goals, and Minciiuna six for Portugal.  

The final will be played on Wednesday at 15:00. Before that, Serbia - Portugal will play for bronze.

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

Monday, 4 July 2022

Croatia Opponents Revealed in 2023 Handball World Cup Group Stage

July 4, 2022 - Croatia will face the USA and two yet-to-be-revealed African teams in the 2023 Handball World Cup group stage in January. 

Croatia will play in Group G, and its opponents will be the United States of America and two African national teams - the champion and the third-placed team from the championship there, which will be held in July.

Coach Hrvoje Horvat spoke about the interesting draw: 

"We wanted to avoid the European teams from the third and fourth pot, and let me remind you that Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, and the Netherlands were there, and we succeeded. The champion of Africa and the third-place finisher from that continent certainly deserve maximum attention. Theoretically, it can happen that it will be Egypt and Tunisia, which is a completely different story, and the draw no longer looks so simple. But we'll see what happens. The good thing about all this is that we can already start scouting and analyzing them because the championship for these national teams starts in ten days. I would only like for us to be complete and not repeat a situation like at the European Championship in Hungary when we had corona. I do not doubt that Croatia will be in good form. It's a good draw in the sequel as well. I am an optimist and believe we will be great at that championship."

At the World Cup in January next year, 32 national teams will compete, which are divided into eight groups, and the group in which Croatia is in the second round crosses with group H, where Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain, and an African national team, which will take fourth place in the continental championship.

The Handball World Cup will be held from January 11 to 29 next year.

Handball World Cup 2023 (groups):

Group A (Krakow): Spain, Montenegro, Chile, Iran

Group B (Katowice): France, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia

Group C (Göteborg): Sweden, Brazil, Africa 2, Uruguay

Group D (Kristianstad): Iceland, Portugal, Hungary, South Korea

Group E (Katowice): Germany, Qatar, Serbia, Africa 5

Group F (Krakow): Norway, Sj. Macedonia, Argentina, Netherlands

Group G (Jönköping): Africa 1, Croatia, Africa 3, USA

Group H (Malmö): Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain, Africa 4

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

Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia Beach Handball Team Wins 2022 World Championships in Greece!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Croatia's new world champions in beach handball:

1. BORNA KOLIĆ
2. DOMINIK MARKOVIC
3. VALENTINO VALENTAKOVIC
4. IVAN JURIĆ
5. JOSIP LEKO
6. LUCIAN BURA
7. IVAN DUMENČIĆ
8. JOSIP DUKES
9. NIKOLA FINEK
10. FILIP GORIČANEC

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

Source: HRS

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

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.

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