2020 Euro Qualifications: Croatia Handball Defeats Switzerland with Skill in Osijek

Daniela Rogulj

The Croatia men’s handball team overcame Switzerland in the last 10 minutes of the game to secure the win.

The Croatian “Cowboys” defeated Switzerland 31:28 in the first round of the Group 2 qualifiers for the 2020 European Championship. They are now first place in the group, ahead of Serbia and Belgium, reports Gol.hr on October 25, 2018. 

The Cowboys secured their first win on the road to the Euro, but it wasn’t easy. 

In a packed Osijek City Garden, the Cowboys recorded their first two points against the Swiss, who proved to be a very tough and unfavorable opponent. 

Croatia never had a large advantage over Switzerland. 

In the first half, Swiss stars Andre Schmid and Rhein-Neckar Lowen created big problems for Croatia. The teams went into the half with a Swiss advantage (15:16), and when the game resumed the Cowboy defense continued, though Switzerland was only ever just one or two goals behind.

Croatia defeated Switzerland by 3 goals. 

With 10 minutes to go, Croatia took a 3-goal advantage after Domagoj Duvnjak brought the team to 27:24. Michael Suter attempted to change the course of the game with a time-out into the finish which failed – and Lino Červar’s side had enough strength and concentration to preserve the hard-won advantage and secure their first victory on the road to Euro 2020.

Croatia will face Belgium on Sunday. 

Luka Cindrić and Luka Stepančić were the best among the Cowboys with six goals, while Schmid led Switzerland with seven goals. 

In the second round on Sunday, October 28, Croatia will head to Leuven to face Belgium at 15:45.


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