January 5, 2019 – The Croatia handball team played 33:33 (18:17) against Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Croatia Cup in Porec on Saturday.
Index.hr writes that the match was the story of the day in the BiH media, who proclaimed this draw to be a great sensation and a huge success for BiH handball.
Anyone with knowledge about handball knows that BiH has a solid team with a few impressive individuals. They have the excellent goalkeeper Buric from Flensburg and Ivan Karacic, who is the brother of great Croatian handball player Igor.
For the first time in history, BiH has qualified for the Euros and boasts the oldest team in the championship. One of their better players, Nikola Prce, is 40 years old.
The BiH national team led most of the game, but towards the end, Croatia managed to lead 32:28. BiH eventually reached the draw.
Igor Karacic scored seven goals for Croatia, while Luka Cindric and Luka Stepancic added four. Marko Panic was BiH’s top scorer with ten goals.
Croatia captain Domagoj Duvnjak praised Croatia’s neighbors.
“It is a nice reminder to us. First of all, I would like to congratulate Bosnia on a phenomenal game. BiH has a great team, they played really smart, Buric was great in goal, and I wish Bosnia all the best at the European Championships,” Duvnjak said.
“We don’t even have money for preparations. We can’t get into a hotel without paying the full amount of expenses in advance. At this point, I don’t know if we will start preparations. If the state does not help with the Euros, however, we have run out of options,” Vice-President of the BiH Handball Federation, Asim Sahman, told Sarajevo-based Dnevni Avaz.
In the meantime, despite financial problems in the Federation, the team managed to get sponsors to pay for its travel and accommodation in Norway. They are not out of the woods yet, but perhaps because of these circumstances, they can achieve an incredible result at the Euros.
The BiH team managed to come to Porec thanks to the Croatian Handball Federation, which provided them with the conditions for part of the preparations and their hotel. BiH coach Bilal Suman particularly thanked Croatia.
“I would like to thank our host. We are here for a few more days and they provided us with all the necessary conditions. The hotel, the hall – they gave us everything and we thank them. I wish them good luck at the European Championships,” Suman said.
The European Championship is scheduled for January 9-26, and Croatia will play in Graz with Montenegro, Belarus and Serbia in the first round.
Lino Cervar’s team will test their strength against Qatar in the final day of the Croatia Cup on Sunday.
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