Thursday, 13 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022: Croatia Falls to France 22:27 in First Match of Group C

January 13, 2022 - The Croatia men's handball team fell to France 22:27 in the first match of Group C at the EHF Euro 2022 in Szeged.

The Croatia men's handball team met France in its first match in Group C at the European Championship, which is being held in Hungary and Slovakia. Coach Hrvoje Horvat led the team in Szeged, Hungary, where they had Croatian support from the stands.

Croatia entered this championship with many changes caused by the coronavirus. Luka Cindrić and Marino Marić did not play in tonight's match as their negative COVID-19 tests did not arrive in time. They are expected to be ready against Serbia in two days.

Croatia started with Mandić and Čupić on the wings, Šipić as the pivot, Jaganjac on the left, Gadža in the center, and Martinović on the right. Pesic started in goal. 


France scored the first goal to lead in the 50th second of the match. Martinovic scored Croatia's first goal for 1:1 in the 2nd minute. 

France led 1:3 in the 4th minute and it was 1:4 for France in the 5th. Mandic came back for 2:4 moments later. It was 2:5 for France in the 7th and 2:6 for France a minute later. 

After Croatia's missed opportunities, France led 2:7 in the 9th. Cupic finally scored for 3:7 Croatia in the 11th minute. 

A brilliant save by Pesic in the 12th minute kept Croatia in the game. Gadza scored for 4:7 in the 15th minute. 

It was 4:9 for France before Croatia made it 5:9 in the 19th. Pesic made an incredible save for a Croatia counter in the 20th for 6:9. 

Cupic scored from 7-meters for 7:10 in the 22nd minute. Croatia picked up the momentum as the first half came to a close, taking advantage of France's mistakes. Martinovic scored for 8:10 in the 23rd. 

It was 8:12 for France with 4 minutes to go. Cupic scored from 7 meters again for -3 (9:12). 

Mandic made it 10:12 with less than two minutes left in the first half.  Sipic scored for 11:13 going into halftime. 

France opened the second half with a goal in the 31st for 11:14, and it was 11:15 in the 32nd.

Sipic scored for 12:15 which was followed by a France penalty for 12:16. Martinovic scored for 13:16 in the 36th. Susnja scored for 14:17 a minute later. 

Sipic scored for 15:18 in the 40th. Susnja scored his second goal for 16:19 in the 42nd. Cupic scored for 7 meters for 17:20 a minute later. 

Lucin scored on a counter for -2 (18:20) and again for 19:21 in the 46th minute. Mandic was excluded with a red and blue card in the 46th minute which changed the dynamic of the game.

France scored from 7 meters for 19:22. Cupic scored from 7 meters for 20:23 with 7 minutes to go. Cupic scored again for 21:25 with 4 minutes on the clock.

Lucin made it 22:25 with two minutes left.  The match ended 22:27 for France. 

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

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Croatia Handball Euro 2022 Prep: Friendly Loss to Slovenia a Wake-Up Call

December 30, 2021 - The Croatia handball Euro 2022 prep continued with a friendly match against Slovenia on Wednesday night in Celje.

On Wednesday, the Croatia men's senior national team suffered a heavy defeat in a friendly match against Slovenia in Celje (33:26). It was the first meeting after three hard training days in the second phase of preparations in Poreč. Nevertheless, Slovenia sent a serious warning to Croatia. The team will have two days off before final preparations in Osijek.

Both national teams were incomplete and missing players from the Bundesliga. In addition, Zvonimir Srna left Zagreb earlier in the day due to an illness (not coronavirus). In any case, Slovenia showed more and deservedly celebrated the win as payback for the defeat they suffered against Croatia in Novigrad / Cittanova in early November.

Neither team was ready for solid, aggressive defense from the very beginning. Luka Cindrić put Croatia ahead for the first eight minutes. Slovenia then took the lead and lost their advantage only once.

Like the first meeting recently in Istria, Slovenia entered Croatia's 6-7 meters when they wanted and scored. In the 12th minute, Slovenia was up by 2 for the first time (8:6). However, Croatia did not give up and was always 1-2 goals behind. Croatia made eight technical errors in the first half and constantly offered Slovenia a new opportunity to stay ahead. 

Croatia failed to equalize in the last minute of the first half, and Jože Baznik brought Slovenia to +2 at halftime (17:15). Croatia conceded 17 goals again in one half, which speaks volumes about the defense.

Slovenia easily went ahead by 5 points at the beginning of the second half. However, Croatia caught up after about ten minutes.

In the first 15 minutes of the second half, Croatia scored only 4 goals. Slovenia was more aggressive, concentrated, and took advantage of Croatia's mistakes. In the last five minutes, Slovenia was up by 7 for 30:23 and managed to maintain that lead almost without much effort until the end.

Slovenia's top scorers were Blaž Janc and Gašper Marguč, with seven goals each. Croatia's top scorers were Luka Cindrić and Luka Šebetić, with five goals each.

Croatia had only 48 percent of the attacks (Slovenia 56 percent). Slovenia scored 7/7 counters (Croatia 4/4). Croatia had 13 technical errors / lost balls to Slovenia's 12. Slovenia played 6 minutes with a player less, and Croatia 14. 


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