The Croatia men’s handball team defeated Israel in the 3rd round of the Croatia Cup 2023 (37:23) to win the tournament! It was Croatia’s last test before the Handball World Championships, which starts this week in Sweden and Poland. Croatia plays in Group G against Egypt, the USA, and Morocco.
Compared to Croatia’s first match against North Macedonia at the start of the tournament, coach Hrvoje Horvat left Mate Šunjić and Nikola Grahovac in the stands, and Dino Slavić and Leon Šušnja were in the lineup. Recall Croatia beat North Macedonia 40:34 at the opening of the Croatia Cup, and North Macedonia defeated Israel 38:37 in the 2nd round.
Croatia’s starting lineup against Israel featured Dino Slavić in goal, Lovro Mihić and Paolo Kraljević on the wings, and Željko Musa, Domagoj Duvnjak, Igor Karačić, and Ivan Martinović.
Croatia took 10 minutes to find their rhythm, after which they took a 7:3 lead. At halftime, they were up by 10 points (20:10). Six minutes before the end of the game, Croatia was up by 13 points (34:21), and in the end, the game finished 37:23.
Croatia was led by Ivan Martinović with eight goals, while Luka Cindrić scored six and Igor Karačić scored five. For Israel, Adir Cohen was the top scorer with eight goals.
The Croatian Handball Federation and Sportske Novosti also presented the best players of 2022 during halftime. Ana Debelić was named the best female handball player for the second year, while Luka Cindrić was again named the best male handball player.
Croatia will play its first match at the World Championships on Friday, January 13 (8:30 pm) against the national team of Egypt. You can find Croatia’s schedule below.
Group G (Jönköping)
1st round, January 13
18:00 Morocco – United States of America
20:30 Egypt – CROATIA
2nd round, January 15
18:00 Egypt – Morocco
20:30 CROATIA – United States of America
3rd round, January 17
18:00 United States of America – Egypt
20:30 CROATIA – Morocco
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