Euro 2020: Croatia Handball Team Brilliant in Big Win against Serbia

Daniela Rogulj

January 13, 2020 – The Croatia handball team met Serbia for their final game of Group A in the European Championship on Monday in Graz. Croatia already secured first place in the group and a spot in the second round before Monday, while Serbia had no chance of moving forward regardless of Monday’s result. 

Despite Croatia’s security in the second round, coach Lino Cervar did not want to disappoint Croatian fans and promised a solid Croatian side against Serbia. 

Croatia started the game with the ball and Mandic scored for 0:1 in the first minute. Goalkeeper Sego made a few great saves to keep Croatia in the lead until the 5th minute, when Serbia finally equalized for 1:1. That didn’t last long, and Croatia’s Stepancic retook the lead in the 6th minute for 1:2. Radivojevic equalized in the 7th. 

Croatia lost the ball moments later, which resulted in a Serbia counter-attack. Sego brilliantly defended to keep Croatia ahead. Karacic scored in the 8th minute for 2:3, and Stepancic for 2:4. Sego continued with his brilliant goalkeeping, and Duvnjak scored for 2:5 in the 10th minute. Serbia came back for 3:5 a minute later. Sego saved a penalty in the 13th, and Musa increased Croatia’s lead to 4:6 in the 15th.

 A 7-meter shot for Serbia in the 17th minute saw an equal score for the first time – 6:6. However, a Horvat shot put Croatia back in the lead one minute later (6:7). Stepancic scored for 6:8, though Serbia returned for 7:8. The game was equal again in the 21st, and Serbia took the lead for the first time in the 23rd minute for 9:8. In the 24th minute, it was 10:8 for Serbia.

Over the next few minutes, Croatia was unable to score. Approaching the 28th minute, it had been seven minutes since Croatia’s last goal. With 9 seconds to go in the first half, Mandic hit the post to keep it 10:8 for Serbia.

Croatia opened the second half with a super save by Sego, and Cindric scored for 10:9 in the 30th minute. Serbia increased its lead to 11:9 in the 32nd, however, brilliant goals by Stepancic and Duvnjak put Croatia back in the game.

The Croatia handball team was awarded a 7-meter shot in the 36th minute, which Horvat scored for the equalizer (12:12). In the 41st minute, Serbia was back up to +2 (14:12). Sego’s defense ensured it wasn’t any higher, and Croatia came back to score for 14:12 in the 42nd.

An incredible counter by Duvnjak saw Croatia back in the lead – it was 14:15 in the 44th minute! Mandic increased the lead to 14:16, and Horvat made it 14:17 in the 46th minute. Sipic scored for +3 in the 48th and Karacic for +4 in the 49th (14:19). On fire from his last goal, Karacic scored again for Croatia’s five-goal lead in the 50th minute.

Serbia unraveled under pressure, and Duvnjak scored for 15:21 in the 51st. Serbia began making a comeback, though a Cindric goal made it harder with a goal for 19:22 in the 56th minute. A Sego defense was followed by a Croatia counter-attack where Mandic was one-on-one with the keeper to score for 19:23. At this point, Croatia’s victory was inevitable. Cindric scored for 19:24 with two minutes to go. Croatia slowly kept possession, though Serbia was able to come back to 21:24 in the final minute. The game ended 21:24 for Croatia. 

Marin Sego was named the man of the match.

Croatia will now travel to Vienna, where they will continue their competition on Thursday. Croatia’s opponent is yet to be announced, though it is likely Austria.

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


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