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.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Euro 2024 Handball Qualifiers: Croatia Draws Group 5 with Netherlands, Greece, Belgium

April 1, 2022 - The Euro 2024 handball qualifiers have been announced after a draw held last night in Berlin. Croatia was drawn into Group 5 and will play against the Netherlands, Greece, and Belgium from October 2022 to April 2023.

A draw of qualifying groups for the 2024 European Championship hosted by Germany was held in Berlin on Thursday night. The EURO is scheduled for January 10-28, 2024, and will be played in six German cities: Dusseldorf, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Manheim, and Munich.

An earlier placement at the European Championship was secured by Germany as the host and the medal winners at the last (this year's) European Championships: Sweden, Spain, and Denmark. Thus, for the second qualifying phase, there were a total of 32 teams that were drawn from four "pots" in eight strong groups. Croatia was placed in the first "pot". Russia and Belarus were not in the draw due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but their places were taken by Georgia and Luxembourg, while Kosovo and Serbia cannot be in the same group.

First, the teams from the fourth "pot" were drawn, each team in one group and so on until the last, first "pot". Croatia thus drew group 5, along with the Netherlands, Greece, and Belgium.

The complete qualification draw, on the other hand, looks like this:
Group 1: PORTUGAL, NORTHERN MACEDONIA, TURKEY, LUXEMBOURG
Group 2: NORWAY, SERBIA, SLOVAKIA, FINLAND
Group 3: ICELAND, CZECH REPUBLIC, ISRAEL, ESTONIA
Group 4: AUSTRIA, UKRAINE, ROMANIA, FAROE ISLANDS
Group 5: CROATIA, NETHERLANDS, GREECE, BELGIUM
Group 6: HUNGARY, SWITZERLAND, LITHUANIA, GEORGIA
Group 7: SLOVENIA, MONTENEGRO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, KOSOVO
Group 8: FRANCE, POLAND, LATVIA, ITALY

Qualifying matches will be played from October 2022 to April 2023, after which there will be a total of 20 national teams: two first-placed teams from each group and four best third-placed teams to be decided after all qualifying matches, taking into account only matches against the two best-placed national teams. With four previously placed national teams, we come to the number 24, which is the final number of teams that will ensure their appearance at the European Championships in 2024.

Source: HRS

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

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Coach Horvat Announces Croatia Handball Squad for 2023 World Championship Qualifiers

March 29, 2022 - The Croatia handball squad for the upcoming 2023 World Championship qualifiers against Finland has been named. Croatia will play the first match away on April 13 and in Varaždin on April 16. 

After the recent national team gathering in March, the Croatia men's senior national team will get together again in April. During the upcoming EHF week from April 11 to 17, 2022, the second round of qualifications for next year's World Championships will be played. Croatia is also participating in the second round of qualifications.

Croatia will meet Finland in the 2023 World Championship qualifiers. The first match will be hosted in Vantaa, on April 13, 2022, at 18:00. The return match will be played at Arena Varaždin, on April 16, also at 18:00.

Coach Hrvoje Horvat announced the list of players for the upcoming matches. There are 21 players on Horvat's list and nine more on the reserve list.

Croatia handball player list

MARIN ŠEGO – MONTPELLIER HB
MATEJ MANDIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
DOMINIK KUZMANOVIĆ – RK NEXE
DAVID MANDIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
MARIN JELINIĆ – RK NEXE
IVAN ČUPIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
FILIP GLAVAŠ -HC TRIMO TREBNJE
VERON NAČINOVIĆ – MONTPELLIER HB
ŽELJKO MUSA – RK PPD ZAGREB
MARINO MARIĆ – MT MELSUNGEN
MARIN ŠIPIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
DOMAGOJ DUVNJAK – THW KIEL
LUKA CINDRIĆ – BARCA
IGOR KARAČIĆ – LOMZA VIVE KIELCE
ZVONIMIR SRNA – RK PPD ZAGREB
MARKO MAMIĆ – SC DHfK LEIPZIG
TIN LUČIN – ORLEN WISLA PLOCK
IVAN MARTINOVIĆ – TSV HANNOVER-BURGDORF
LUKA LOVRE KLARICA – RK PPD ZAGREB
HALIL JAGANJAC – RK NEXE
LUKA ŠEBETIĆ – CB NAVA

RESERVE PLAYERS:
JOSIP ŠARAC - FRISCH AUF GöPPINGEN

JAKOV GOJUN - RK PPD ZAGREB
MATEO MARAŠ - HC EUROFARM PELISTER
LEON ŠUŠNJA - ORLEN WISLA PLOCK
IVAN PESIC - TVB 1898 STUTTGART
KRISTIAN PILIPOVIĆ - CADET SCHAUFFHAUSEN
DAVOR ĆAVAR - RK PPD ZAGREB
VLADO MATANOVIĆ - RK PPD ZAGREB
ANTE GADŽA - RK VARDAR 1961

COACHING STAFF:

HRVOJE HORVAT, COACH
IVANO BALIĆ, COACH
IVAN STEVANOVIĆ, GOALKEEPER COACH
ŠIME TOMAŠEVIĆ, CONDITIONING COACH
ŽELJKO KERCEL, PHYSIOTHERAPIST
FILIP ŠIMUNOVIĆ, PHYSIOTHERAPIST
KREŠIMIR ROTIM, DOCTOR
DOMAGOJ GAJSKI, DOCTOR
IVICA UDOVIČIĆ, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL TEAM
IVICA MARAŠ, SPEAKER AND TEAM MANAGER
ZDRAVKO MIRILOVIĆ, TECHNICIAN
ZORAN ČULK, VIDEO (from April 13, 2022, Varaždin)

Source: HRS

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

Friday, 4 March 2022

EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers: Croatia Women's Handball Falls to France in Koprivnica

March 4, 2022 - The Croatia women's handball team lost to France (19:21) in the 3rd round match of Group 4 in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers on Thursday. 

It was an exciting match in which Croatia did not give up even when they were far behind. However, in the end, Croatia missed two seven-meter throws.

Numerous injuries in the Croatia national team significantly changed the starting lineup compared to the World Champs. Coach Nenad Šoštarić, therefore, started with Ivana Kapitanović in goal, Andrea Šimara and Ana Turk on the wings, Ana Debelić as the pivot, and Valentina Blažević, Dora Krsnik, and Dejana Milosavljević in the outside positions. 

Unusual nervousness plagued both teams at the start. France missed four attacks (with two saves by Croatia's goalkeeper), and Croatia three. The first goal was scored at the beginning of the fifth minute by Andrea Šimara. On the other hand, France reached their first goal in the sixth minute. After that, they scored two more and held their advantage. Croatia played great defense, especially Ana Debelić and Kristina Prkačin, who held the middle.

Olivier Krumbholz was not overly pleased with his team's game and constantly rotated players for the ideal lineup to handle Croatia's defense. However, Croatia struggled in the attack but did not give up. In the 20th minute, it was 7:7.

France then scored two goals in a row for 7:9 in the 23rd minute. After that, Croatia could equalize from two seven-meter throws but missed both. Just 90 seconds before halftime, France went up by three goals for the first time - 8:11. With another goal in the last seconds before halftime, the result was 8:12. 

France opened the second half better. In five minutes, they scored three goals, and Croatia only one, making it +6 - 9:15. Croatia, however, showed character again. With three goals in a row in the 40th minute, they managed to halve the advantage of the Olympic winners and reach 13:16. Five minutes later, they were even closer, at minus two - 16:18. 

At 17:19, Croatia had two attacks to equalize, but France instead scored for 17:20 with seven minutes to go. 

Nevertheless, Croatia rose again. Josipa Mamić's goal just 90 seconds before the end put Croatia behind by only one goal - 19:20. However, France quickly responded on the other side for the final 19:21.

Valentina Blažević scored four goals and Dejana Milosavljević three. 

The return match will be played on Sunday at 17:30 in Toulouse.

Source: HRS

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

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

2023 World Handball Championship Qualifiers: Croatia Player List Announced

March 2, 2022 - The Croatia men's handball team will gather for the first time since the European Championships to face Finland or Ukraine in the 2023 World Handball Championship qualifiers. 

The Croatia men's senior national team will gather for the first time since the European Championships when a part of the European national teams will play the first phase of qualifications for the 2023 World Championship or in the so-called EHF week. 

Coach Hrvoje Horvat announced the list of players for this campaign, which will take place in Varaždin from March 14 to 20, 2022. There are 22 players on the coach's list, and there are ten more on the reserve list.

During their week-long stay in Varaždin, the national team will only train and prepare for the World Championship qualifying matches against the match-winner between Finland and Ukraine.

A new part of the expert staff has also been published, which you can see below. Namely, Ivan Stevanović returns to the national team, but as a goalkeeper coach.

"There are some new names on the list that have imposed their form in clubs. But, of course, part of it includes those who left a great impression at the recently concluded European Championships. We are taking this upcoming week of joint preparations very seriously and responsibly because it is an ideal opportunity for us to work a little more on our game since there are no friendly matches in that period," said coach Hrvoje Horvat.

Player list

  1. MARIN ŠEGO – MONTPELLIER HB
  2. MATEJ MANDIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
  3. DOMINIK KUZMANOVIĆ – RK NEXE
  4. DAVID MANDIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
  5. MARIN JELINIĆ – RK NEXE
  6. IVAN ĆUPIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
  7. VLADO MATANOVIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
  8. FILIP PERIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
  9. MARIN ŠIPIĆ – RK PPD ZAGREB
  10. ŽELJKO MUSA – RK PPD ZAGREB
  11. MARINO MARIĆ – MT MELSUNGEN
  12. VERON NAČINOVIĆ – MONTPELLIER HB
  13. DOMAGOJ DUVNJAK – THW KIEL
  14. LUKA CINDRIĆ – BARCA
  15. IGOR KARAČIĆ – LOMZA VIVE KIELCE
  16. HALIL JAGANJAC – RK NEXE
  17. MARKO MAMIĆ – SC DHfK LEIPZIG
  18. TIN LUČIN – ORLEN WISLA PLOCK
  19. LUKA ŠEBETIĆ – HC MOTOR
  20. IVAN MARTINOVIĆ – TSV HANNOVER-BURGDORF
  21. MATEO MARAŠ – HC EUROFARM PELISTER
  22. LUKA LOVRE KLARICA – RK PPD ZAGRE

Reserve list 

  1. LEON ŠUŠNJA – ORLEN WISLA PLOCK
  2. FILIP VISTOROP – RK PPD ZAGREB
  3. DAVOR ĆAVAR – RK PPD ZAGREB
  4. JOSIP BOŽIĆ PAVLETIĆ – HC EUROFARM PELISTER
  5. LOVRO MIHIĆ – ORLEN WISLA PLOCK
  6. JAKOV GOJUN – RK PPD ZAGREB
  7. IVAN PEŠIĆ – TVB 1898 STUTTGART
  8. MATE ŠUNJIĆ – US IVRY HANDBALL
  9. KRISTIAN PILIPOVIĆ – KADETTEN SCHAUFFHAUSEN
  10. JOSIP ŠARAC – FRISCH AUF GöPPINGEN

Coaching staff 

  1. HRVOJE HORVAT, COACH
  2. IVANO BALIĆ, TRAINER
  3. IVAN STEVANOVIĆ, GOALKEEPER TRAINER
  4. ŠIME TOMAŠEVIĆ, CONDITIONING TRAINER
  5. ŽELJKO KERCEL, PHYSIOTHERAPIST
  6. FILIP ŠIMUNOVIĆ, PHYSIOTHERAPIST
  7. SILVIA JURATOVAC, MT THERAPIST
  8. KREŠIMIR ROTIM, DOCTOR
  9. DOMAGOJ GAJSKI, DOCTOR
  10. IVICA UDOVIČIĆ, NATIONAL TEAM DIRECTOR
  11. IVICA MARAŠ, SPOKESPERSON AND TEAM MANAGER
  12. ZDRAVKO MIRILOVIĆ, TECHNICAL

Source: HRS 

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

Sunday, 30 January 2022

2023 World Handball Championship Qualifiers: Croatia Learns Potential Opponents

January 30, 2022 - The draw for both rounds of the 2023 World Handball Championship qualifiers was held in Budapest on Saturday. 

The draw took place in two phases, as there are two qualifying rounds. Thus, the first to be drawn was the national teams that have already passed the first round of qualifications by groups, i.e., those ranked from 15th to 24th place at this European Championship, reports HRS.

UKRAINE - FINLAND
ITALY - SLOVENIA
PORTUGAL - SWITZERLAND
AUSTRIA - ESTONIA
GREECE - BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
NORTHERN MACEDONIA - ROMANIA
ISRAEL - LITHUANIA
SLOVAKIA - BELGIUM
FARO ISLANDS - BELARUS

The first matches will be played from March 16 to 17, and the return matches on March 19 to 20, 2022. The first-named national teams are the hosts in the first matches.

The second round of qualifications was then drawn. Russia and Ukraine could not face each other. Therefore, Russia was drawn first and will play against the winner of Slovakia - Belgium. The Croatia men's national handball team will thus play against the winner between Ukraine and Finland in the 2023 World Handball Championship qualifications, which is being played in Sweden and Poland next year. 

RUSSIA - WINNER SLOVAKIA / BELGIUM
WINNER UKRAINE / FINLAND - CROATIA
WINNER GREECE / BiH - MONTENEGRO
WINNER PORTUGAL / SWITZERLAND - NETHERLANDS
WINNER ITALY / SLOVENIA - SERBIA
GERMANY - WINNER OF THE PHARE ISLANDS / BELARUS
CZECH REPUBLIC - WINNER SJ. MACEDONIA / ROMANIA
WINNER AUSTRIA / ESTONIA - ICELAND
WINNER ISRAEL / LITHUANIA - HUNGARY

The Croatia handball team is participating in the second round of qualifications, played in two games between April 11 and 17 this year.  The return match is played in Croatia.

Six European national teams have already won their place at the World Championships. These are hosts Sweden and Poland, Denmark as world champions, and France, Spain, and Norway.

"We can be happy with the draw. Ukraine is a slight favorite in the match against Finland. We saw them at this European Championship. They showed several young, very talented players. They will certainly include three to four of the best who were not at the Euros. Most have experience playing in the Champions League. Finland is somehow the weakest of the Scandinavian countries, but it is certainly not to be underestimated. But if Croatia is right, and we have no reason to doubt it, we should move on without major problems. Especially before we play the return match at home," said coach Hrvoje Horvat. 

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

Thursday, 27 January 2022

What's Next for Croatia? 2023 World Handball Championship Qualifiers

January 27, 2022 - After finishing 8th place at the EHF Euro 2022, the Croatia men's handball team will play the 2023 World Handball Championship qualifiers this April. 

The Croatia men's handball team ended their performance in the last round of the EHF Euro 2022 main round with a draw against the Netherlands.

After last year’s World Championship in Egypt and missing out on the Olympics, this is another handball competition to forget. The Cowboys finished in eighth place.

While the coronavirus disrupted coach Hrvoje Horvat's plans, we were fortunate to witness new handball talent, with players like Tin Ličin, who was not originally part of the team. 

So, what's next? 

There will be a new World Championship organized jointly by Sweden and Poland in a year. These two national teams, as well as the current champion Denmark, have a spot already secured. Europe will add at least 12 more national teams, three of which will qualify directly as the best at the current Euros, while nine national teams will play in the qualifiers.

As Denmark and Sweden reached the semifinals, the European Championship fifth-place leads directly to the World Championship. Spain also won a spot because they reached the semifinals.

Croatia will thus have to qualify for the World Championship, for which a draw will be held already on Saturday. After that, they will be included in the second round, which will be played in two matches between April 11 and 17 this year. Their opponents will be some of the national teams that will play the first round between March 14 and 20.

Slovenia, Portugal, North Macedonia, Slovakia, BiH, and other possible opponents are not harmless rivals, so Croatia hopes for a good draw. 

Who coach Horvat will choose to join the national team then remains to be seen.

First round:

Seeded teams: Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine

Unseeded: Belgium, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Israel, Greece, Italy, Romania, Switzerland

Second round:

Seeded: Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Russia, Montenegro, Netherlands

Unseeded: nine first-round winners

Source: Gol.hr

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

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