December 18, 2020 – The Croatia women’s handball team met the current European champion France in the semi-final of the 2020 European Championships in Herning, Denmark on Friday evening.
By entering the semi-final, Croatia achieved the best result in the history of Croatian women’s handball, and thus secured a place in next year’s World Cup, where Croatia has not played since 2011.
Croatia traveled to Denmark as complete underdogs, building great form from game to game. On Tuesday, they played a fantastic match against Germany and advanced to the semi-final with a 23:20 victory.
Unfortunately, mighty France was too powerful for Croatia tonight.
France v. Croatia Recap
Croatia opened the game with a goal by Kalaus in the first minute of play. France equalized moments later for 1:1. Debelic made it 1:2 for Croatia in the 3rd.
Stellar saves by Pijevic in the 6th and 7th minute kept the score at 2:2. Micijevic scored for the Croatia lead in the 8th minute – 2:3.
France took the lead for the first time in the 10th minute – 4:3, and scored again for 5:3. France was up by three goals in the 12th minute and four in the 14th.
At this point, Croatia hadn’t scored a goal for seven minutes.
By the 17th minute, it was 10:3 for France. By the 18th minute, Croatia hadn’t scored for over 10 minutes. Croatia finally scored for 11:4
Croatia hit the post twice in the minutes that followed. France called a team timeout.
Vidak finally scored to slightly reduce France’s lead to 13:5, but France scored again in the 28th for 14:5. The match ended at 15:5 at half.
Croatia defended France’s first attack of the second half and Simara scored for 15:6, bringing Croatia 9 goals behind France. Valentina Blazevic made it -8 in the 32nd minute (15:7). A Krsnik penalty made it 16:8 in the 34th.
Pijevic saved France’s next attack, and Jezic scored for -7 – 16:9. Blazevic scored for 17:10, and Micijevic for 18:11. Croatia was still behind by 7 goals.
Croatia was behind by 8 goals in the 43rd minute – 21:13. In the 46th minute, it was 23:13 for France.
With 10 minutes to go, Croatia was behind by 11 goals – 25:14. With five minutes to go, France was up 27:17.
With a minute to go, it was 30:18 for France. With 10 seconds to go, Croatia scored a penalty for 30:19, which was the final score of the match.
Denmark and Norway will play the second semi-final tonight at 20:30.
Croatia will play in the match for 3rd place on Sunday at 15:30.
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