Junior World Championship: Croatia Handball in Final for First Time!

Daniela Rogulj

The Under-21 Croatia handball team is in the final of the Men’s Junior World Handball Championship! 

In Pontevedra, Spain on Saturday, Croatia topped Portugal 31:28 (12:9) and advanced to their first-ever final against France, to be held on Sunday at 4:30 pm, reports Gol.hr on July 27, 2019.

Portugal was Croatia’s most dangerous rival at this tournament, though Croatia led by four and five goals on two occasions during the game. Portugal finally woke up and played much stronger in the second half.

Between the 47th and 52nd minute, Croatia went from a goal behind (20:21) to up by three goals (25:22). It was a tense match until the very end, when Croatia found that extra energy, focus, and motivation to finally lead by 4 for the 31:28 victory. 

While many worried it would be the end of Croatia’s perfect showing in Spain, Croatia can thank Sarač, Martinović and Mileta, as well as their brilliant defense, for turning the game to their advantage.

Martinović was named the best player of the match with eight goals scored, while Mileta scored seven goals and Sarač six goas. Diogo Silva was unstoppable for Portugal with nine goals, while Fernandes had six on the wings.

Croatia will play in the final against France, who defeated Egypt on Saturday 35:33. Croatia and France will meet on Sunday at 16.30.

This is the first World Championship final for the young Croatian side. So far, they have played twice in the semi-final and lost the next two matches to win 4th place.

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


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