Saturday, 5 November 2022

EHF EURO 2022: 'Queens of Shock' Open Tournament with Defeat to Norway

November 5, 2022 - The Croatia women's handball team opened the EHF EURO 2022 with a loss to Norway in Ljubljana on Friday night. 

The Croatia women's handball team started the 15th EHF EURO in Ljubljana with a defeat. In the 1st round match of Group A, they lost to Norway 23:32. It was the meeting of the European gold and European bronze medalists from the last European championship in Denmark two years ago. Norway has won 13 consecutive European titles.

Croatia was without several significant players and opened the match against the eight-time European champions in the following lineup: Ivana Kapitanović was in goal, Lara Burić was on the right, and Paula Posevec was on the left. Ana Debelić held the line, and Kristina Prkačin, Valentina Blažević, and Dora Krsnik played in the outside positions. The coach made only one change: Katarina Ježić in defense and Valentina Blažević in the attack.

Both teams were nervous at the beginning. The first goal was scored only at the end of the 3rd minute. Croatia scored its first goal in the 4th minute thanks to Dora Krsnik.

It was clear from the beginning that Croatia would have many problems with Norway's defense. After only ten minutes, Norway was up by three points (2:5). Croatia's defense remained solid but missed several clear chances at goal in the first half. 

In the 22nd minute and the 29th minute, Croatia came to one goal behind (9:10, 14:15). Norway woke up, going back to plus two (14:16) at the half. 

Croatia opened the second half with a 3:1 series. Then, in the 33rd minute, Croatia equalized at 17:17. Unfortunately, Croatia made several technical mistakes and opened the door for Norway to go ahead by three - 18:21. Coach Nenad Šoštarić, therefore, asked for a timeout. 

Croatia's play started to drop. Norway's transition and quality took precedence and went up by five goals (21:26). 

In the 52nd minute, Norway was already up by seven goals. Croatia went 11 minutes without scoring a goal. The European champions routinely brought the match to an end and achieved a convincing 23:32 victory. 

With four goals, the top scorer for Croatia was Stela Posavec. Paula Posavec, Tena Japundža, Dora Kalaus, Ana Debelić and Valentina Blažević scored 3 each. Norway's Nora Mork was the best with eight goals. Henny Reistad scored seven and was also chosen as the best player in the match.

Croatia will face Hungary next on Sunday, November 6, at 6:00 pm.

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


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.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Croatia Ends EHF Euro 2022 with a Draw against the Netherlands - 28:28

January 26, 2022 - Croatia ended their EHF Euro 2022 campaign with a draw against the Netherlands on Wednesday night. 

The last European Championship match for Croatia was against the Netherlands in the last round of Group I on Wednesday. Both teams lost their chance at the semifinal, so the match was not of importance - though it's always nice to say goodbye to the Euros with a win.

The Netherlands was left without several key players due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Croatia coach Hrvoje Horvat thanked Ivan Slišković, Šimo Ivić, and Vlado Matanović who went back to their clubs early. Today's Croatia lineup included Pešić, Pilipović, Čupić, Glavaš, Martinović, Maraš, Cindrić, Gadža, Lučin, Srna, Jelinić, Ćavar, Marić, Šipić, Načinović, and Gojun.

Recall, after losing to Denmark, Croatia lost all chances of reaching the semifinals. Despite winning against Iceland, Croatia was ultimately left without a chance to fight for third place in the group, which brings the match for fifth place, the last leading directly to the 2023 World Championships. Croatia will thus have to play World Championship qualifiers this spring. 


Sipic scored for 2:0 Croatia in the 2nd minute. The Netherlands scored for 2:1 going into the 3rd minute. Sipic made it 3:1 going into the 4th minute. 

Sipic scored his 4th goal of the match for 4:4 Croatia in the 6th minute. 

The Netherlands took the 5:4 lead in the 7th minute. Srna scored for 5:5 in the 10th minute. 

Sipic scored his 5th goal for 6:5 Croatia in the 12th minute. Cindric made it 7:6 a minute later. 

The Netherlands led 9:8 in the 17th minute. Cupic equalized for 9:9 in the 19th minute. The Netherlands led by 2 goals for the first time of the match in the 22nd minute - 11:9. 

Gadza scored for 11:10 in the 23rd minute. The Netherlands led 13:11 with 4 minutes to go. Martinovic scored for -1 Croatia in the 27th minute before the Netherlands made it 14:12 with two minutes to go. 

It was 15:13 for the Netherlands going into halftime. 

Martinovic opened the second half with a goal for Croatia for -1 - 15:14. Martinovic equalized from 7 meters for 15:15 in the 32nd minute. 

Martinovic equalized for Croatia again with a penalty in the 34th minute for 16:16. Sipic made it 17:17 in the 38th minute. 

Martinovic scored his 7th goal of the match for 18:18 in the 41st minute. Sipic made it 19:19 a minute later. 

Martinovic finally put Croatia back in the lead for 20:19 in the 45th minute. Srna made it 21:19 for Croatia in the 46th minute. Cindric made it 22:19 a minute later. 

Croatia was leading 26:24 with 5 minutes to go. Martinovic scored his 12th goal in the 56th minute for 27:25. Croatia was up by only one goal with a little over a minute to go. 

The Netherlands equalized for 27:27 in the final minute. Lucin scored for 28:27 in the final 15 seconds and the Netherlands equalized for the final 28:28. 

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


Saturday, 22 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022 Main Round: Denmark End Croatia's Semifinal Hope (27:25)

January 22, 2022 - Denmark ended Croatia's semifinal hope in the second match of the EHF Euro 2022 main round on Saturday night. 

The Croatia handball team played their second game of the European Championship main round against Denmark at 20:30. Denmark is the favorite not only in tonight's match but also to win the tournament, and Croatia needed a victory to stay in the game for the semifinals. 

Coach Hrvoje Horvat had Alilović, Pilipović, Čupić, Glavaš, Martinović, Ivić, Maraš, Cindrić, Gadža, Lučin, Slišković, Jelinić, Šipić, Marić, Načinović, and Gojun at his disposal tonight. Compared to the last game, Kristian Pilipović came in instead of Ivan Pešić, and right winger Mateo Maraš instead of left winger David Mandić.


Croatia didn't score in their first attack and Denmark scored for 1:0 in the 2nd minute. Cindric scored to equalize at 1:1 in the 4th minute. 

Denmark scored from 7 meters for 2:1. It was 3:1 for Denmark in the 5th minute. Lucin made it 3:2 a minute later. 

Lucin made it 4:3 in the 8th minute. Denmark scored for 5:3 in the 10th. 

Lucin scored for -1 Croatia - 5:4 - in the 12th minute. Denmark made it 6:4 in the 13th minute. Denmark was up by 3 in the 15th minute - 7:4. 

Alilovic made an incredible save to keep Denmark ahead only by 3 goals in the 16th minute, though they scored for 8:4 moments later, forcing a Croatia timeout. 

Maras scored for 8:5 in the 18th minute. Lucin scored for 8:6 moments later. 

Glavas made it 9:7 in the 20th and Martinovic 9:8 in the 21st. Maras put Croatia back to -1 for 10:9 in the 22nd. 

Maric equalized for 10:10 with 5 minutes to go in the first half! Cupic missed from 7 meters with two minutes to go. 

Denmark led by two goals in the final minute of the first half (12:10). Maric scored for -1 - 12:11 to end the first half. 

Denmark opened the second half with a goal for 13:11. Maric made it 13:12 in the 31st. 

Denmark led by 3 goals in the 33rdd - 15:12. Cupic scored for 15:12 moments later. 

Martinovic scored for 16:14 in the 35th. Jelinic scored for 17:15 in the 36th. Martinovic made it 18:16 in the 38th minute. 

Maric put Croatia down to just -1 in the 40th - 18:17. Denmark was up 20:17 in the 42nd minute. 

Cindric scored for 20:28 in the 44th minute. Jelinic scored for 21:19 a minute later. 

Maric scored for 22:20 in the 51st minute. It was 23:21 for Denmark with 8 minutes to go. 

Maric scored for 25:22 in 56th. Cupic made it 25:23 with 3 minutes to go. Maric scored for 26:24 with a minute and a half left. Maric scored again for 27:25, which was the final score. 

Croatia plays Iceland next on Monday. 

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

Friday, 21 January 2022

How Can Croatia Handball Advance to EHF Euro 2022 Semifinals?

January 21, 2022 - Does Croatia handball have a chance at making the EHF Euro 2022 semifinals? Yes, but it won't be easy. 

Because the Croatia men's handball team did not transfer any points to the next phase of the competition and lost to Montenegro 32:26 in the first game of the second round, their chances of reaching the European Handball Championship semifinals are slim. However, there is a glimmer of hope, reports T.portal.

So, how can Croatia move to the knockout stage of the competition? 
1) The first condition is that Croatia can no longer lose and needs to win the next three games: Denmark (Saturday), Iceland (Monday), and the Netherlands (Wednesday). If they lose to Denmark, they have no shot. 
2) The second condition comes down to the other results, of which the key one is for France to beat Denmark in the group derby. In that case, France would be first in the group with ten points, Croatia and Denmark would have six points each, and Montenegro and Iceland four points each.
3) In addition, some other results must coincide, so it is so important that Montenegro beats the Netherlands on Saturday, and France beats Iceland.
4) Furthermore, Denmark should be expected to win against the Netherlands and France against Montenegro. It is also important that Iceland outplays Montenegro.

Thus, Croatia does not depend on themselves, and needing to secure three consecutive victories, including against powerhouses Denmark and Iceland, is not totally realistic. 

However, with so much at stake, coach Hrvoje Horvat decided to make several changes in the team in order to present the best possible players at the European Championship. 

Against Denmark tomorrow, Kristian Pilipović will be part of the team, who today (January 21, 2022), acquired the right to play for Croatia, in addition to Lovro Mihić and Mateo Maraš.

"We go game by game, defeat hurts and we are not happy that we lost. We are in a specific situation where we need to constantly revise, always start all over again. It will be very difficult to play, we will need to be maximally concentrated and provide the best possible game," said Horvat.

Croatia and Denmark meet on Saturday at 20:30. 

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

Thursday, 20 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022 Main Round: Croatia Falls to Montenegro in First Match of Group I (26:32)

 January 20, 2022 - Croatia falls to Montenegro 26:32 in the first match of Group I in the EHF Euro 2022 main round in Budapest. 

The main round of the European Handball Championship began on Thursday. Croatia met Montenegro in their first match of Group I.

Croatia enters the second round of the competition without points. Denmark, France, and Iceland transferred two points each, while Montenegro and the Netherlands also entered without points.

In Group II, Germany, Spain and Russia have two points each, while Norway, Sweden, and Poland have no points.

Croatia coach Hrvoje Horvat was not able to count on Valentin Ravnić today and invited three new players to the national team as COVID-19 plagued the roster. Thus, Mirko Alilović, Ivan Slišković, and Veron Načinović joined the Croatia squad. 


Cupic scored the first goal for Croatia for 1:0. Cindric scored for 2:2 in the 5th minute. It was 3:3 in the 8th minute. 

Montenegro was leading by 2 goals in the 12th minute - (3:5). Cupic scored for 4:6. Cindric scored for 5:7 in the 18th - and Cindric made it 6:8 in the 20th. 

Cupic scored his 3rd goal of the game for 7:9. Lucin made it 8:10 in the 24th and 9:11 a minute later. 

Montenegro was leading 13:9 with two minutes to go in the first half. A catastrophic end to the first half - Montenegro was up by 6 goals - 15:9.

Croatia goalkeeper Alilovic saved Montenegro's first attack of the second half. Cupic scored for 10:15 in the 31st minute. 

Alilovic saved Montenegro's next attack and Nacinovic scored for 11:15! 

It was 13:19 for Montenegro in the 38th minute before Cindric scored for 14:19 a minute later.

Gadza brought Croatia back to -5 in the 41st minute - 15:20. Cupic scored from 7 meters for 16:21 in the 43rd. Gadza scored again for 17:21. Mandic scored for 18:22 a minute later. 

Cupic and Martinovic made it 20:25 in the 48th. But Croatia's hope quickly dwindled - they were behind by 6 goals entering the final 10 minutes of the game, and Montenegro was up by 7 goals moments later. It was 28:20 for Montenegro in the 51st minute. 

Lucin scored for 21:28 with 7 minutes to go. Jelinic scored for 23:29 with 4 minutes left. Cupic scored for 24:30 with 3 minutes to go and it was 25:31 with 2 left. Cindric made it 26:31. The match ended 26:32 for Montenegro. 

Croatia plays Denmark next on Saturday. 

For today's remaining matches of Group I, France and the Netherlands play at 6 pm and Denmark and Iceland at 8:30 pm. In Group II, Russia and Sweden also met at 3:30 pm, Germany and Spain (6 pm), and Poland and Norway (8:30 pm).

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

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022 Second Round: Croatia and Montenegro First Meet on Thursday

January 18, 2022 - The Croatia handball team has learned their first opponent of the EHF Euro 2022 second round, which will be played this Thursday in Budapest. 

Croatia fell to France in the first match of Group C on Thursday, topped Serbia on Sunday, and crushed Ukraine on Monday to advance to the second round of the EHF Euro 2022. Though their fate in the second round wasn't entirely left up to them. 

Because France defeated Serbia (29:25) on Monday to advance to the second round with a maximum of three victories, Croatia too advanced to the next phase of the competition. 

Croatia advanced to the second round of the European Handball Championship as the second-placed team in Group C.

The Cowboys finished in Szeged behind France, which beat Serbia, and now travel to Budapest to play four more games as part of the newly formed Group I.

The competition format is such that Group I will feature the two best teams from groups A, B, and C (with the transfer of points won in the mutual match with the national team that also moves forward). 

First-placed Denmark and second-placed Montenegro passed from group A, which knocked out Slovenia in the direct calculation for the second place. Denmark and France, who is the winner of Group C, transferred two points to the second round.

As for Group B, the last round will be played on Tuesday. So far, Iceland is the best, recording both victories. On the other hand, host Hungary managed to recover from the shock defeat at the opening of the Euro against the Netherlands and beat Portugal in the last seconds of the second match (Hungary and Iceland and the Netherlands and Portugal will meet in the last round).

Although the list of participants in the second round has not yet been completed, Croatia has already learned their first opponents. Thus, Hrvoje Horvat's team will first play on Thursday, January 20, against the second-placed team in Group A (Montenegro).

C2 (Croatia) will play against A1 on Saturday, January 22, the current world champion Denmark.

There will be a clash against the winner of Group B on Monday, January 24, and two days later (Wednesday, January 26) a match against the runner-up in Group B.

From this second-round group, the two best teams will advance to the semifinals of the European Championship, while the third-placed team will play for fifth place. All this will take place from January 28 to 30 in Budapest. 


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

Monday, 17 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022: Croatia Crushes Ukraine in Final Group C Match (38:25)

January 17, 2022 - Croatia crushes Ukraine 38:25 in the final Group C match of the EHF Euro 2022 in Szeged, Hungary. Croatia's fate in the second round, however, depends on the outcome of the France-Serbia match later tonight. 

The Croatia men's handball team met Ukraine in the last round of Group C at the 2022 European Championship in Szeged, Hungary.

Bad news arrived before the match about two other infected players. Namely, David Mandić and Željko Musa received positive COVID-19 results, and Matej Mandić, Lovro Mihić, Marko Mamić, Zvonimir Srna, and Leon Šušnja had already been in isolation. Domagoj Duvnjak is still out and Halil Jaganjac could not play against Ukraine due to a minor concussion.

Recall, Croatia fell to France in the first match of Group C on Thursday and topped Serbia on Sunday to stay in the game for the second round. Croatia's spot in the second round, however, does not just depend on them. They must wait for the outcome of the match between France and Serbia. A victory or draw leads Croatia to the second round from second place in Group C. Croatia would be knocked out of the tournament if Serbia wins between two and six points. 

However, if everything goes as planned, Croatia will play in the second round, which includes two groups of six national teams. The two best teams from Group C intersect with the two best teams from Group A and Group B. 


The first goal of the match came in the 2nd minute when Lucin scored for 1:0 Croatia. Ukraine equalized moments later (1:1). Ukraine made it 1:2 in the 3rd minute. Martinovic equalized at 2:2. 

Ukraine retook the lead coming into the 4th minute for 2:3 and Lucin quickly equalized at 3:3. Martinovic made it 4:4 in the 7th minute. Maric made it 8:8 a minute later.

Ivic scored for 6:6 in the 9th minute. Jelinic scored for the Croatia lead in the 11th for 7:6, and Lucin for +2 moments later (8:6). 

Maric put Croatia ahead by 3 goals in the 13th minute for 9:6. Cupic scored from 7 meters for 10:7 a minute later. Lucin scored for 11:8 in the 15th! 

Sipic scored for 12:9 in the 17th and again for 13:10 a minute later! Martinovic scored from 7 meters for 14:10 with 9 minutes to go. 

Ukraine came back to just -1 with 3 minutes to go in the first half (14:13). Gadza made Croatia a bit more comfortable for 15:13 and Jelinic for 16:13 in the 28th. Gadza made it +4 for 17:13 with a minute and a half to go. Croatia scored in the final second of the first half for 18:13. 

Martinovic opened the second half with a goal for 19:14.  Lucin increased the score to 20:14 in the 33rd. 

Martinovic scored for 21:14 and Jelenic for 22:14 in the 35th. Ukraine had gone 5 minutes without a goal. Martinovic scored or 23:16 in the 38th minute - and it was 24:17 a minute later! Sipic made it 25:17 in the 40th. 

Sipic scored his 5th goal for 27:19 in the 42nd minute. Jelinic scored for 28:20 in the 43rd minute. Martinovic made it 29:20 in the 45th minute. 

Sipic scored for 30:21 in the 47th minute. Gadza scored for 31:22. Glavas scored from 7 meters for 32:22 - a comfortable 10 point lead. Glavas scored again from 7 meters for 33:23. 

Sipic scored for 34:24 with just over 5 minutes to go. Grahovac made it 35:25 in the 55th. Glavas scored for 36:25 with 4 minutes to go and again for 37:25 with 3 to go. 

Grahovac scored again for 38:25 with a minute left 

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