Croatia and Qatar met in the last game of Group C at the World Handball Championship in Egypt. Croatia and Qatar had played only one official match before tonight’s duel, and Qatar celebrated sensationally with seven points at the opening of the Olympic Games four years ago.
Both national teams had already secured a spot in the next round.
Croatia v. Qatar Recap
Mamic scored the first goal of the game for 1:0 Croatia. Pesic made a great save to keep Croatia ahead after Qatar’s first attack.
Duvnjak scored for 2:0 just under 3 minutes into the game. Qatar scored their first goal seconds later – 2:1.
Maric made it 3:1 for Croatia in the 6th minute, and again in the 8th minute for 4:2.
Strlek scored for 5:3 in the 9th minute and again for 6:3 in the 11th.
Strlek scored his third goal to make it 7:5 three minutes later.
Mamic scored his second goal of the game for 8:6 in the 15th. 34-year-old Cupic scored for 9:7 in the 16th.
Qatar scored their second 7-meter throw for 9:8. Croatia’s star goalkeeper Marin Sego made his debut at the 2021 World Champs in the 19th minute. Recall, Sego was recovering from an injury and missed Croatia’s first two matches against Japan and Angola.
Qatar received their third 7-meter throw in the 21st minute, which Sego brilliantly saved to keep the game 9:8.
Mamic put Croatia back to +2 for 10:8 in the 21st.
Croatia certainly welcomed Sego’s return, as he saved yet another 7-meter throw for Qatar in the 22nd minute!
Martinovic scored for 11:10 with four minutes to go in the first half. Qatar equalized for 11:11 seconds later.
Sego remained stellar in goal, saving yet another 7-meter throw in the 28th minute! Mamic put Croatia back in the lead at 12:11 with less than two minutes to go.
Martinovic scored with 3 seconds to go for 13:11 at the half.
Qatar opened the second half with a goal for 13:12 in the 30th minute. Croatia received a 7-meter throw in the 31st minute – Cupic scored for 14:12.
Maric increased Croatia’s lead to +3 – their biggest lead of the game yet. It was 15:12 in the 34th minute.
Musa scored for 16:14 in the 36th minute.
A fake by Mamic resulted in yet another goal for the 26-year-old – 17:14 for Croatia.
Croatia’s oldest player at the World Champs, Zlatko Horvat, scored his first goal of the game for 18:15. Maric scored for +3 in the 42nd minute – 19:16. Horvat scored a crucial lob for Croatia three minutes later – 20:18.
Martinovic found the back of the net for 21:19 in the 47th minute. Strlek scored for 22:19 with 12 minutes to go.
The flawless Marin Sego saved 4/4 7-meter throws to keep Croatia ahead. Maric brought Croatia back to +3 with 10 minutes left. Strlek scored again for 24:22 with seven minutes to go.
Horvat made it 25:23 in the 54th minute. Strlek scored on an empty goal with five minutes to go for 26:23!
Cervar called a timeout with two minutes to go.
Croatia was given a 7-meter throw with less than 30 seconds to go – Strlek missed to keep the game 26:23.
The game ended 26:24 for Croatia! Maric was named the player of the match.
Unfortunately, Japan defeated Angola (30:29) in the earlier Group C game and transferred the point won against Croatia to the second round. This means that Croatia could not transfer all four points to the continuation of the competition, even by beating Qatar. Croatia thus carries three points to the second round, Qatar two points thanks to the victory against Japan, and Japan one point.
It is already known that Argentina and Denmark from Group D await Croatia and Qatar in the main round, while the third rival will be known after the match between Bahrain and Congo.
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