January 18, 2020 – The Croatia handball team met Germany in the second game of the second round of the European Championship in Vienna on Saturday. Thanks to an incredible comeback, Croatia topped Germany 25:24 and is one step closer to the semifinal.
At 8:30 pm, Croatia and Germany met for a crucial match of the European Handball Championship in Vienna. After Belarus defeated the Czech Republic and Spain defeated Austria, the calculation was pretty clear: a Croatian victory against Germany would secure the semifinal.
Recall, Germany had no easy road to the second stage of the competition. In the first round, Germany was convincingly defeated by Spain, and in the last round, they barely celebrated against the Netherlands. But anything could happen on Saturday night – and we’re pretty sure it did.
Croatia’s Maric scored the first goal of the game in front of over 6,000 Croatian fans in Vienna for 1:0 in the 2nd minute. Duvnjak increased Croatia’s lead to 2:1 in the 3rd, though Germany equalized seconds later. Germany took the lead in the 5th minute at 2:3, then 2:4 in the 6th minute.
Mandic scored for 3:4 in the 7th, and Karacic equalized in the 9th minute for 4:4. Horvat missed a 7-meter shot for Croatia in the 11th to keep Germany in the lead at 4:5 – and Karacic missed one in the 14th minute. The intensity was high.
Cindric scored the equalizer seconds later, though Germany quickly retook the lead for 5:6 in the 15th minute. Germany was up by two goals in the 17th (5:7), and three goals seconds later (5:8).
Cindric scored again for 6:8 in the 19th minute and Stepancic scored for 7:9 in the 20th.
Croatia reduced their deficit to 8:9 thanks to Cindric in the 21st, though with two players up, Germany was back to +3 in the 24th minute (8:11).
Yet another 7-meter shot was awarded to Croatia, which Horvat missed for his second time.
In the 25th minute, Germany was up by four goals (8:12) – and in the 27th minute, it was +5 (8:13).
Duvnjak scored for 10:13 in the 28th minute.
In the final minute of the first half, Karacic scored for 11:13, though Germany was given a 7-meter shot, which they scored for +3 at the half (11:14).
Two Croatia goals to open the second half were disallowed due to fouls, and Germany increased their lead in the 32nd for 11:15. In the 33rd minute, Germany was up by five goals (11:16).
Croatia was awarded a 7-meter shot in the 35th minute, which Duvnjak scored for 12:16. But a minute later, Germany scored a 7-meter shot for 12:17.
Brozovic scored for 13:17 in the 37th, with Karacic reducing the deficit to -3 moments later (14:17).
Stepancic and Mandic were brilliant in the 39th for a score of 16:18 – and Stepancic scored again for 17:19. Karacic scored for 18:20.
Croatia was awarded another 7-meter shot in the 44th minute, which Duvnjak scored again for 19:21.
Stepancic was outstanding for 20:21, and Croatia was well and truly on their way to making a comeback.
Horvat brought Croatia to 21:22, and Mandic scored the equalizer for 22:22 in the 48th minute!
Croatia and Germany went back and forth for the next few minutes, with shots defended on both sides.
Germany retook the lead in the 52nd minute thanks to a questionable 7-meter call. The game was 22:23 for Germany.
Karacic scored the equalizing goal for Croatia in the 54th minute for 23:23.
Duvnjak scored a crucial equalizer for 24:24 with three minutes to go. Emotions were high – and the intensity was higher.
Karacic put Croatia back in the lead in the 58th minute for 25:24 – the arena went wild.
Germany was unsuccessful in their final attack and the game ended 25:24 for Croatia! Karacic was named the player of the match.
With this win, and as long as Croatia does not lose against Spain and the Czech Repulic, they will play in the semifinal of the competition.
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