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May 24, 2022

Men Handball WC: Favourites start in force

Croatia defeated Romania 27-21.

Croatia, the Silver Medalist of the WC 2009 had enormous problems in the first 35 minutes to stand the pressure of Romania and made too many mistakes, according to handball2011.com. So surprisingly the Romanians, which had eliminated Russia in the qualification, led 13-11 at the break. A lot of misplaced Croatian passes and Romanian counter attack goals paved the way to this result.

But coach Slavko Goluza found the right words in the dressing room, as his team improved totally. First the Croats equalized at the 14-14, then they took the lead and didn’t give it from their hands until the end. Led by Balic, Strlek and Lackovic they decided the game at the score of 26-20 in minute 54, as Romania only scored seven goals in 25 minutes – a signal for the extremely strong Croatian defence and the high number of mistakes on the Romanian side.

The second game of Romanian team, against Denmark, took place Sunday night, after the closing of this edition.

Reigning champion France started well in Sweden – even as Tunisia showed a lot of resistance in their opener: 32-19 (15-9). It took France 25 minutes to reach the 15-10, as the game was close until the 7-5. Tunisia having to miss their star Wissem Hmam stood well in defence, but couldn’t really break through the French wall. But as the World Champion was away from their top form in the beginning the gap didn’t increase too much. But when Tunisia lost their powers the result became clearer and clearer – and the score of 21-14 was the start of the decisive period. Five minutes before the end – and as sniper William Accambray had started his shooting series – the gap was already ten goals at the score 27:17, in the end it were 13. France could not be endangered despite the fact that top star Nikola Karabatic received a red card in minute 43.

Medal candidate Iceland started with an expected victory, but they had to fight hard in the first 30 minutes against the Hungarians with their initially strong defense. Even when Iceland was in lead 12-6 they didn’t take the control of the game, as they played too hectic. Aside the Hungarian goalkeeper Robert Mickler, who substituted Nandor Fazekas early, showed some outstanding saves – so Hungary remained close with a three goal distance at the break. But then the game changed completely. Led by excellent youngster Aron Palmarsson Iceland extended the gap goal by goal until the decisive intermediate score of 29-20, in the end the Hungarians couldn’t endanger the Olympics Silver medalists though they came closer a little. Best player was Palmarsson; who scored eight goals for the winner.

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