Croatia and Tunisia met in Montpellier for the final game of the Olympic qualifiers on Sunday evening.
After a thrilling match and an incredible victory against Portugal, Hrvoje Horvat’s Croatia played against an opponent who had very little chance of qualifying for Tokyo. Recall, France beat Tunisia 40:29 and Portugal 34:27. While a victory was necessary for Croatia to go to Tokyo, they do not depend only on themselves. In order to qualify for the Olympic Games, Croatia must beat Tunisia, and then wait for the outcome of the match between France and Portugal.
Croatia qualifies for Tokyo with France’s victory against Portugal (then Portugal is eliminated). If Portugal wins, Croatia is out.
Croatia v. Tunisia Recap
Horvat scored for 1:0 in the 3rd minute to open the scoring for Croatia, and Musa scored for 2:0 seconds later.
By the 4th minute, Sego had 3 saves on three attacking plays.
Horvat scored from 7 meters for 3:1 in the 5th minute. Horvat scored again for 4:1 in the 8th minute.
Tunisia took the lead in the 12th minute for 4:5 and scored again for 4:6 in the 13th minute.
Pavlovic scored for 5:6 in the 14th minute. Cindric equalized for 6:6 in the 15th.
Horvat scored for 7:7 in the 16th. Tunisia led by 2 goals in the 19th – 7:9.
Horvat scored from 7 meters for 9:9 in the 21st minute.
Pesic saved Tunisia’s 7-meter throw to keep the score even.
Mandic put Croatia back in the lead moments later for 10:9 in the 22nd. Maric scored for 11:9 two minutes later.
Mandic made it +3 with five minutes to go in the first half. Tunisia equalized at 12:12 with a minute to go in the first half. Maric scored for 13:12 with 20 seconds to go, and again for 14:13 to end the first half.
Horvat scored his 6th goal of the match for 15:13 to open the second half. Mandic made it +3 for 16:13 one minute later and 17:13, Croatia’s biggest lead of the match, in the 33rd.
Horvat scored for 18:14 in the 35th and Mandic for 19:14 a minute later.
Duvnjak scored for 20:14 in the 37th for +6! Cindric made it 21:15 in the 39th and Mandic for 22:15.
Duvnjak scored for 23:17 in the 42nd minute and Mandic against for 24:17 with just over 15 minutes to go.
Cupic made it 25:18 with 12 to go. It was 27:20 with 9 minutes to go.
Pavlovic made it +4 with less than five minutes to go – 28:24, and Maric made it 29:25 with minutes left.
It was 30:25 for Croatia in the final two minutes.
The match ended at 30:27 for Croatia!
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