Saturday, 23 January 2021

World Handball Championship: Argentina Tops Croatia (23:19)

January 23, 2021 - In the shocking second match of the main round, Argentina tops Croatia 23:19. 

Croatia played a key match against Argentina on Saturday evening, one that could have secured them a spot in the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Egypt. A win would have ensured Croatia a place among the eight best national teams in the world before the end of the main round. In that case, the match against the reigning world champion Denmark on Monday would be played only for a better position before the quarterfinals. However, with an Argentina win, Croatia would need a victory against Denmark - and Qatar would need to defeat Argentina for the Cowboys to see the next round. 

Worrying news arrived the day before the match, as RTL reported that several members of the Croatia team complained of stomach problems, and Ivan Martinović and Domagoj Duvnjak were in the worst condition. Martinović missed training and was tested for coronavirus as a precaution, but the result was negative. Other players felt weaker symptoms, which was certainly concerning before the most important match of the tournament so far. 

Fortunately, two hours before the match, the Croatian Handball Federation confirmed that everyone would be ready.

Croatia met Argentina four times before tonight's match at the 2021 World Championship and recorded three victories. In 2005 at the World Championship, Croatia was convincing with a score of 36:23, in 2011, another convincing victory of 36:18, and a close win at the 2016 Olympic Games (27:26). Argentina only defeated Croatia at the 2003 World Championship, celebrating 30:29.

Argentina beat Congo 28:22 and Bahrain 24:21 in the first phase of the competition and lost to Denmark 20:31. In the first match of the second round, they beat Japan 28:24. Before tonight's game, Denmark lead Group 2 with 6 points, Croatia was in second with 5 points, and Argentina in third with 4 points.

Argentina v. Croatia Recap 

Argentina scored the girl goal of the match for 1:0 in the first minute. Argentina made it 2:0 two minutes in - and 3:0 seconds later.

Croatia's shaky start was certainly attributed to nerves - and Argentina scored for 4:0 in the 4th minute. 

It was 5:0 for Argentina in the 5th minute. 

Argentina's keeper was solid in goal, denying Croatia's top players from scoring in the three minutes that followed. Cupic scored Croatia's first goal only in the 10th minute for 5:1. 

Cupic scored from 7-meters in the 14th minute to make it 6:2. Croatia was only down by 4 goals. Mandic made it 7:3 in the 15th. 

Cupic scored his third goal of the game from 7-meters in the 16th minute. Croatia reduced the score to -3 - 7:4. 

Karacic scored for 7:5 one minute later, and again for 7:6 in the 19th. 

Cupic scored again from 7-meters for 8:7 with nine minutes to go in the first half. Cupic was on fire, scoring his 5th goal of the match (5/5) for 10:8 - and again for 10:9 (6/6).

Croatia received another 7-meter throw in the 26th minute - Cupic scored his 7th goal of the game, and 4th from 7-meters, for 11:10. 

Sebetic scored for 12:11 with two minutes to go - and again for 12:12 in the last minute of the first half, which was the result at halftime. 

Croatia took the lead for the first time in the match in the 31st minute, but Argentina quickly equalized for 13:13.

Mamic scored for 15:14 in the 34th minute, and Croatia was behind by one goal again. Mamic scored yet again for 16:15 in the 36th.

In the 48th minute, Argentina was up by 3 goals - 18:15.  

Duvnjak scored for 19:16 in the 51st minute. Sebetic scored for 20:17 in the 53rd, but Argentina quickly reacted for 21:17.

Jaganjac scored for -4 with two minutes to go - 22:18. Mandic scored from 7-meters for 22:19 with 40 seconds to go. Argentina scored the final goal of the game for 23:19. 

Croatia and Denmark meet next on Monday. 

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

Friday, 22 January 2021

World Handball Championship: Croatia Must Defeat Argentina for Spot in Quarterfinals

January 22, 2021 - Croatia must defeat Argentina on Saturday evening if they want to secure a spot in the World Handball Championship quarterfinals. 

The Denmark national team defeated Qatar 32:23 in the first match of the main round of the World Championship in Egypt. The winner was known after the first half.

Denmark went into halftime with a five-goal advantage (17:12), and the key was the 11:6 series with which Denmark outplayed Qatar from the 15th to the 30th minute.

In the second half, Denmark reached the biggest advantage of +10 (23:13), mostly thanks to Denmark's 5:0 series from the 34th to the 38th minute. By the end, Qatar managed to reduce the score to -9. Among the winners, PSG player Mikkel Hansen was the best with six goals, while Qatar was led by Cuban shooter Frankis Marzo with ten goals. The goalkeepers did not excel, but seven defenses by Niklas Landin can be singled out.

In the next round on Saturday, Denmark will play against Japan and Qatar against Bahrain. From 6 pm, Croatia will play against Argentina in the same group, and a victory would ensure Croatia's spot in the quarterfinals. Lino Cervar's team would then have seven points, three more than Argentina and Qatar (if Qatar defeats Bahrain).

In the last round on Monday, Croatia will play against Denmark for first place and a more favorable draw in the quarterfinals, where possible opponents are Sweden, Egypt, and Slovenia, the top three teams in the group with which Croatia overlaps. 

Recall, Croatia topped Bahrain (28:18) in the first match of the main round (28:18) on Thursday evening. Marin Sego was named the player of the match. 

"We made a few mistakes at the back at times," said Cervar after the victory. "I trust my players. I am totally happy with the win. The match against Argentina will be a big one; we have to focus because they have done really well so far."

"I think we did well and were able to win. We have a big match coming up against Argentina, and it's our way into the next round, and then we have world champions Denmark. We are fully focused on Argentina, though," added Zlatko Horvat. 


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

Thursday, 21 January 2021

World Handball Championship: Croatia Tops Bahrain in First Match of Main Round

January 21, 2021 - Croatia tops Bahrain (28:18) in the first match of the 2021 World Handball Championship main round. 

Croatia met Bahrain in the first match of the main round of the 2021 World Handball Championship in Egypt. 

Croatia entered this match as a big favorite in the fight for the quarterfinals of the tournament. Recall, Croatia transferred three points to the second round (main round) and is in second place behind Denmark, which transferred a maximum of four. Bahrain did not transfer any points because they lost to Denmark (34:20) and Argentina (24:21). They advanced thanks to a 34:27 victory over DR Congo. In the group stage, Croatia drew with Japan (29:29) and beat Angola (28:20) and Qatar (26:24).

Croatia v. Bahrain Recap

Strlek scored the first goal of the match to give Croatia the 1:0 lead in the first minute. Mamic scored for 2:0 just under 3 minutes in.

Maric scored for 3:0 in the 4th minute. Sego kept Croatia's goal clean in the first five minutes of play.

Horvat scored a 7-meter throw for 4:1 in the 6th minute. Duvnjak made it 5:1 in the 8th minute. Sebetic increased Croatia's lead even more - 6:1 in the 9th minute. 

Cupic scored from 7-meters in the 10th minute (7:1). Mamic scored for 8:2 in the 14th. 

Maric scored his second goal of the game in the 15th minute (9:2). Horvat scored with a lob for 10:3 in the 21st minute.

Maric scored his third goal of the game for 11:4 two minutes later. Mandic scored for 12:6 in the 25th. 

With two minutes to go in the first half, Horvat made it 13:6. Croatia went into halftime up by 5 goals - 13:8.

Horvat's famous lob made it into the gal to open the second half.

Croatia was up by six goals in the 35th minute - 16:10. Cupic scored for 17:11 two minutes later.

Maric scored his fourth goal of the game in the 39th minute for 18:12. Jaganjac scored for +7 - 19:12.

Martinovic scored an upper-corner rocket in the 42nd for 20:13 - and again for 21:14.

Yet another lob by Horvat made its way into the goal for 22:14 with just over 10 minutes to go. And Horvat's fourth lob made it 23:17 in the 53rd.

Martinovic scored moments later to make it 24:17. 

Mandic scored in an empty goal with five minutes to go (25:18). Horvat scored in another empty goal seconds later for 26:18 - Croatia's biggest advantage of the game.

Mandic scored with a minute and a half to go for 27:18. Croatia ended the game +10 thanks to a goal in the final seconds (28:18). Marin Sego was named the player of the match!

After Bahrain, Croatia will play against Argentina (Saturday) and Denmark (Monday). The best two teams will place among the top eight.

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

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

World Handball Championship: Croatia Defeats Qatar (26:24)

January 19, 2021 - In the final match of Group C, Croatia defeats Qatar (26:24) and takes first place in Group C!

Croatia and Qatar met in the last game of Group C at the World Handball Championship in Egypt. Croatia and Qatar had played only one official match before tonight's duel, and Qatar celebrated sensationally with seven points at the opening of the Olympic Games four years ago.

Both national teams had already secured a spot in the next round.

Croatia v. Qatar Recap

Mamic scored the first goal of the game for 1:0 Croatia. Pesic made a great save to keep Croatia ahead after Qatar's first attack. 

Duvnjak scored for 2:0 just under 3 minutes into the game. Qatar scored their first goal seconds later - 2:1.

Maric made it 3:1 for Croatia in the 6th minute, and again in the 8th minute for 4:2.

Strlek scored for 5:3 in the 9th minute and again for 6:3 in the 11th. 

Strlek scored his third goal to make it 7:5 three minutes later. 

Mamic scored his second goal of the game for 8:6 in the 15th. 34-year-old Cupic scored for 9:7 in the 16th. 

Qatar scored their second 7-meter throw for 9:8. Croatia's star goalkeeper Marin Sego made his debut at the 2021 World Champs in the 19th minute. Recall, Sego was recovering from an injury and missed Croatia's first two matches against Japan and Angola. 

Qatar received their third 7-meter throw in the 21st minute, which Sego brilliantly saved to keep the game 9:8.

Mamic put Croatia back to +2 for 10:8 in the 21st.

Croatia certainly welcomed Sego's return, as he saved yet another 7-meter throw for Qatar in the 22nd minute! 

Martinovic scored for 11:10 with four minutes to go in the first half. Qatar equalized for 11:11 seconds later. 

Sego remained stellar in goal, saving yet another 7-meter throw in the 28th minute! Mamic put Croatia back in the lead at 12:11 with less than two minutes to go.

Martinovic scored with 3 seconds to go for 13:11 at the half. 

Qatar opened the second half with a goal for 13:12 in the 30th minute. Croatia received a 7-meter throw in the 31st minute - Cupic scored for 14:12. 

Maric increased Croatia's lead to +3 - their biggest lead of the game yet. It was 15:12 in the 34th minute. 

Musa scored for 16:14 in the 36th minute. 

A fake by Mamic resulted in yet another goal for the 26-year-old - 17:14 for Croatia.

Croatia's oldest player at the World Champs, Zlatko Horvat, scored his first goal of the game for 18:15. Maric scored for +3 in the 42nd minute - 19:16. Horvat scored a crucial lob for Croatia three minutes later - 20:18. 

Martinovic found the back of the net for 21:19 in the 47th minute. Strlek scored for 22:19 with 12 minutes to go. 

The flawless Marin Sego saved 4/4 7-meter throws to keep Croatia ahead. Maric brought Croatia back to +3 with 10 minutes left. Strlek scored again for 24:22 with seven minutes to go. 

Horvat made it 25:23 in the 54th minute. Strlek scored on an empty goal with five minutes to go for 26:23! 

Cervar called a timeout with two minutes to go. 

Croatia was given a 7-meter throw with less than 30 seconds to go -  Strlek missed to keep the game 26:23. 

The game ended 26:24 for Croatia! Maric was named the player of the match. 

Unfortunately, Japan defeated Angola (30:29) in the earlier Group C game and transferred the point won against Croatia to the second round. This means that Croatia could not transfer all four points to the continuation of the competition, even by beating Qatar. Croatia thus carries three points to the second round, Qatar two points thanks to the victory against Japan, and Japan one point. 

It is already known that Argentina and Denmark from Group D await Croatia and Qatar in the main round, while the third rival will be known after the match between Bahrain and Congo. 

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

Sunday, 17 January 2021

World Handball Championship: Croatia Tops Angola in Group C (28:20)

January 17, 2021 - Croatia tops Angola in the second match of Group C at the World Handball Championship in Egypt. 

The Croatia handball team met Angola in the 2nd match of Group C in Borg El Arab, Egypt. 

Croatia had a more than shaky start against Japan in the first match on Friday, collecting just one point from a 29:29 draw a few seconds before the end. If Croatia wants to be a realistic prospect for a medal, they can no longer make a mistake in the group stage to ensure they can transfer enough points to the second round.

Before the match against Angola, it was announced that Lino Cervar could no longer count on Luka Cindric, whose injury only worsened after playing against Japan. One of the best Croatian players left the national team camp for Barcelona where he will receive treatment. Cervar called up Janko Kevic in his place. 

Before Sunday, Croatia had never played Angola, which lost to Qatar 30:25 in the first match of the tournament. 

Angola v. Croatia Recap

Angola opened the game with a goal in the first attack for 1:0. Horvat equalized for Croatia from 7-meters - 1:1. Horvat missed Croatia's next chance 7-meter shot in the 4th minute.

Strlek scored for 2:2 in the 5th minute. Croatia took the lead in the 6th minute for the first time at 3:2. 

Angola was leading by 2 goals in the 14th minute (5:4), but Mamic came back for Croatia with a goal in the 15th (5:4). 

Cupic scored from 7 meters, closing Angola's lead to one goal in the 18th minute (6:5).

A very quick turnaround with two goals in the 19th minute gave Croatia the lead - 6:7. 

Mamic scored for Croatia's very first +2 lead in the 21st minute - 6:8. 

It was 9:9 with four minutes to go in the first half - and 10:10 with three to go. 

The first half ended with Croatia up by one goal - 11:12. 

Brozovic scored for Croatia to open the first half and keep Croatia up by one - 12:13.

Cupic scored from 7 meters to put Croatia up by two in the 33rd minute - 12:14.

Croatia was up three goals for the first time of the match in the 38th minute, and up by four one minute later - 13:17.

Cupic scored from 7 meters to give Croatia the biggest lead yet - 13:18 in the 40th minute.  

Maric scored for 15:19 Croatia in the 43rd minute, and Mamic scored for 16:20 in the 44th! 

Cupic scored his 6th goal of the match in the 46th minute for 16:21 Croatia. 

Martinovic scored two minutes later for 16:22 - Croatia's biggest lead yet. Martinovic scored from 7 meters moments later to increase Croatia's lead yet again - 16:23. 

Thanks to another Martinovic goal, it was 17:24, and Jaganjac scored for 17:25 with five minutes to go. 

In the final minute, Croatia was up by 7 goals - 20:27. Mandic scored the final goal of the match for a final score of 20:28 for Croatia!  

Croatia's goalkeeper Pesic was named the player of the match. 

Recall, three teams from the group advance to the second round. Croatia's Group C intersects with group D, which includes Denmark, Argentina, Congo, and Bahrain.

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

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Croatia Women's Handball Team Reaches First-Ever European Championship Semi-final!

December 15, 2020 - The Croatia women's handball team topped Germany in a decisive match for a spot in their first-ever European Championship semi-final! 

Coach Nenad Šoštarić's side achieved historical placement in the semi-final of the European Championships in Denmark on Tuesday, which also automatically secures them a spot at the World Championships, which will be played in December next year in Spain.

Croatia could advance to the semi-final in three scenarios tonight - with a win, draw, and even defeat, but not by more than one goal. 

Croatia and Germany were equal at the start of the match, with a 4:4 score by the 10th and 8:8 in the 20th. 

Three minutes before the end of the half, Croatia goalkeeper Pijevic was brilliant in goal for 10:10 in the 27th minute. The first half ended at 12:12. 

Croatia led by two goals two minutes into the second half for 14:12 in the 32nd. Pijevic followed with a save in Germany's next attack. 

In the 35th minute, Croatia reached the biggest advantage of the match - 15:12, and up by four in the 37th (16:12)! Croatia was on fire - reaching a 5-goal advantage a minute later! 

In the 44th minute, Croatia led by 6 goals for 19:13. With under 10 minutes to go, Croatia maintained a 5-goal advantage - 22:17 in the 52nd. 

With two minutes to go, Croatia led 22:20, and with one minute - 23:20!

Croatia defended Germany's final attack to end the game 23:20! 

Croatia entered the Euros as the ultimate underdog, and coach 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 last Saturday. 

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

To read more about Croatian handball, follow the Federation's official website.

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

Monday, 20 January 2020

Croatia, Denmark and Norway Send Joint Bid to Host Handball World Championship

January 20, 2020 -  Could Croatia co-host the Handball World Championship in 2025? Maybe, and with the help of Denmark and Norway. 

HRT reports that three great handball nations have come up with the idea of hosting the World Championship together. It will be a competition that will go down in history as the first to feature 32 national teams. The nomination was presented in Vienna, in the middle of the European Handball Championship, after Croatia defeated Germany.

In this deal, Croatia is ready to take on four groups before the competition, one major group, two quarterfinals and one semifinal. Denmark and Norway would share the rest.

The president of the Croatian Handball Federation, Tomislav Grahovac, points out that Croatia does not have enough funds to organize such a big competition by themselves.

“We think that both Denmark and Norway represent the world superpowers in addition to Croatia, and that for the first time, it would be the organization of such a great competition in cooperation between the Scandinavian countries and the countries from Central Europe and Southeastern Europe, however we position ourselves. This is something new and as the Croatian Handball Federation strives to be the first, and especially at the front of all new things in handball, co-hosting this World Championship is also one of the first steps towards organizing major competitions and such collaborations,” says Grahovac.

It is no secret that Croatia already has four halls prepared for this kind of competition: Arena Zagreb, Arena Split, Arena Varaždin, Žatika in Poreč and the novelty is a hall in Dubrovnik that is yet to be built.

Presentations such as this one in Vienna have also taken place over the last few days in Malmö, where Denmark played, and Trondheim, where Norway played its European Championship matches.

The final host decision will be known in about a month.

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

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Men's Olympic Handball Tournament to be Held in Croatia? Maybe

November 6, 2019 - The International Handball Federation has decided on the hosts for the Olympic Handball Qualifiers... and Croatia could be one of them. reports that before the European Championships, which will be played in Austria, Norway, and Sweden from January 9 to 26, 2020, the International Handball Federation (IHF) has designated the hosts of the qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. 

The tournaments will be played in the spring of next year, from April 17-19, and each of the two best teams will compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

France, Germany, and Norway were selected as hosts, while Croatia was named as the reserve country. 

So, what exactly does this mean?

A total of 12 teams will compete in the Tokyo Olympics, four of which are already known: Japan automatically qualifies as the host, Denmark as world champion, Argentina as the winner of the Pan-American Games and Bahrain as the winner of the Asian Qualifying Tournament.

There are eight more spots open, and one of them will be known at the end of the upcoming European Championships. Namely, the best national team at the Euros, not counting Denmark, who has already qualified, will also secure their spot in Tokyo.

Thus, if Denmark takes the gold, then the European Championship finalist will book the spot for the Olympics. This is why it could be important for Croatia.

Namely, if one of the three teams designated to host the qualifying tournaments (France, Germany, Norway) wins the European Championship title (or loses to Denmark in the final), then the qualifying tournament will not be played in that country but in Croatia, which will step in as the first reserve.

Croatia has already hosted this qualifying tournament once, and namely, back in 2012 when the Cowboys locked their spot for the London Olympics in Varazdin, defeating the national teams of Iceland, Japan, and Chile.

This time, the competition will undoubtedly be much stronger, and it could only help Croatia if they were to secure their spot for Tokyo at one of the Croatian halls, in an atmosphere that would be excellent.

However, the best-case scenario, of course, would be if Croatia were to skip this qualifying tournament all together… though they’d have to become the European champion first.

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

Friday, 6 April 2018

'New Era' of Croatia Handball Players Defeated by Sweden in Friendly Game

In the first game after the European Championship in Croatia, the Croatia handball team was defeated by Sweden.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Croatia Handball Team Heads to Sweden Without Duvnjak; Červar Announces New System?

The Croatia men's handball team, led by Lino Červar, gathered in Zagreb on Monday. 

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