Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia Handball and Serbia Draw in Dramatic Finish

Daniela Rogulj

In the third qualifying round for the 2020 European Handball Championship, the Croatia handball team and Serbia drew in Belgrade. 

In the third round of the Group 2 qualifiers for the 2020 European Handball Championship, Croatia and Serbia played 25:25 in Belgrade, reports on April 11, 2019. 

The Croatian “Cowboys” remain at the top of the group in front of Switzerland, and the chance to further cement their leading position will be this Sunday in Zadar, where they’ll host Serbia in the fourth round.

Croatia can thank goalkeeper Marin Šego who made an incredible 12 saves in the match, and Domagoj Duvnjak who hit his sixth goal of the game 30 seconds before the end.

Croatia opened the game controlled and lead 4:1 and 7:4. Serbia scored their first goal in the eighth minute. The hosts, however, found their rhythm, partly because of the second expulsion of David Mandić, who had played great defense so far. At the 22nd minute mark, the match was 8:8. The first half of the game was played goal for goal, and the first half ended 13:13.

Serbia took the lead for the first time in the second half and then managed to lead by two. It was obvious that Croatia did not enter the second half with the same momentum as the first. Goalkeeper Marin Šego saved Croatia’s poor play, and Mamić’s goal from nine meters in the 49th minute brought the game to 20:20. Duvnjak put Croatia in the lead three minutes later (21:20), and five minutes before the end, Serbia came back (22:23). Željko Musa scored in the 56th minute for 23:23. Šego then made another incredible save, and Štrlek scored for 24:23.

With two minutes to go the game was 24:24, and Serbia lead 75 seconds before the end. Croatia captain Duvnjak equalized for 25:25 with 30 seconds to go.

Croatia and Serbia will meet in Zadar on Sunday at 7 pm. 

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


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