World Championship: Croatia Handball Learns Opponent for 5th Place Game

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

January 24, 2019 – In the semi-final of the World Handball Championship, Germany will play Norway and Denmark will play France on Friday in Hamburg. The Croatia handball team will play for fifth place against Sweden in Herning on Saturday. 

Germany won first place in Group I and defeated Spain 31-30 (17-16) in Cologne, while Denmark overcame Sweden 30-26 (13-13) and reached first place in Group II in Herning, reports HRT. 

The most effective in Germany’s win against the European Champion Spain was Fabian Bohm with five goals, while Ferran Sole led Spain with eight goals.

Denmark’s eight consecutive wins were led by Mikkel Hansen with six goals and Magnus Landin with five goals, while Jerry Tollbring’s eight goals were not enough for Sweden to reach the semi-final.

In the earlier game on Wednesday, Croatia played their final game of the main round and overcame the title defender France 23-20 (11-11), thus securing third place in their group and a place in the qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Fourth place in the group is occupied by Spain and Egypt, who will play in Herning on Saturday for the seventh place, the final spot to lead to the qualifications for the Olympics. 

Sweden, however, criticized the fact that they had to play the game against Croatia at all. 

“It’s hard to have two free days and then play the game for the fifth place. Of course, this game is completely useless,” said Mattias Zachrisson for Swedish media.

”We’d rather go home to sleep, ahead of us is a difficult spring in our clubs. It is clear that we want to skip this match, but we have to do the job,” Zachrisson added.

Croatia’s players, on the other hand, seem a bit more optimistic.

“We have achieved the original goal, which was the qualifications for the Olympic Games. We are not happy because we wanted more, like the whole nation. We will do our best to be 5th. I am proud that we have won and I have the honor of playing with these guys,” said Željko Musa after the game against France to

Jakov Vranković surprisingly got a great deal of playing time compared to Luka Stepančić against France and used it as best he could. He scored three goals and played an excellent defensive game.

“It was a great match. It turned out in the tournament that if we played good defense, the win was there. The attack hit, and the defense was great. This is a little satisfaction after we lost to Germany and Brazil. I hope we learned some lessons. We have the strength for another game in Herning so we can win the fifth place.”

Domagoj Duvnjak, the captain of the Croatia national team, played another heroic match. While he didn’t get many goals, he created the attack.

“Well done, boys. We came back again, which shows we have character. Congratulations to the team because we won the qualifications for the Olympic Games. We had a bad day against Brazil, we hoped we could get to the semi-finals, but that is sport,” Duvnjak said and continued.

“We can win in this fifth place fight. We want to go home with a victory.”

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


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