Croatian handball players overcame Norway with 31-24 (15-11) in Krakow on Sunday and won bronze medals for the third time in European championships, thus directing the placement at the 2017 World Championship. in France.
Croatia had the best period in the first half of the 14. to 22. minute, when our 5-0 handball players bumped on 11-6, the fast-paced counter-balls that came as the fruit of a solid defense game and several brilliantly stunned Norwegian strikes by Ivan Stevanovic, who took advantage of Mirko Alilović's advantage. Team Zeljko Babic was in the second half brought the advantage of four goals (15-11).
With Zlatko Horvat's lead after 17 seconds of play, Croatia came to the lead 16-11 at the beginning of the second half, but followed by a Norwegian answer, six hits in nine minutes, which was in 40. minute Norway equalizes to 17-17. It was the first alignment after 6-6 from 13. minute.
However, in the last 20 minutes of the game, Ivan Stevanovic broke out again, Zlatko Horvat defeated, and the outside players who made Croatia a brazen medal in Poland.
The best scorer of our team against Norway was Horvat with eight hits, Domagoj Duvnjak scored six and four Marino Maric and Manuel Štrlek. Ivan Stevanovic defended both seven of the Norwegians and stopped their 14 strikes. Norway scored five goals with Sagosen.
For the Croatian national team this is the third bronze medal. First they won the first EP in Portugal 1994. and the other four years ago in Serbia.
Babic: The prophecy fulfilled
Croatian Handball Team Manager Željko Babić and the best bronze medalist at the Polish Championship against Norway (31-24) Domagoj Duvnjak have pointed out that the medal, the first Croatian handball after bronze with EP 2012, came to show a character.
"This medal is a miracle. Prophecy has been fulfilled, I will not clarify what. Thanks to all the players, they were inspired today, all of them showed heart and are very honored because they won the medal. I am happy because the Croatian people are happy because they are delighted with the victories. I do not need glory, "said Babic, who is the first major medalist in the role of chief coach.
"Congratulations to the guys on the show character. It is difficult after the defeat in the semifinals to reach the medal. It does not matter if they call us bronzes, "Duvnjak said.