Croatia was looking awfully good at this year’s World Handball Championships; being hosted by Germany and Denmark.
The Cowboys went a perfect 5-0 in the preliminary round, which included a 23-19 victory over reigning European champions Spain.
But then they hit a wall once the Main Round began for them on Sunday. Croatia lost 29-26 to a less talented Brazil side and then lost again to co-hosts Germany Monday night in Koln. A win in either of these matches would have put Croatia in position to make the semifinals, but now, the Cowboys would be lucky to play in the 5th Place match.
Croatia and Germany battled out an 11-11 first half before the germans went on a run in the second frame. Germany were up by three at one point but the Croatians battled back to tie it up late before the Germans got the last say in a 22-21 victory. From the Main Round, it is already confirmed that Germany and France will play in the semifinals . Croatia will face reigning world champions France on Wednesday.
Head coach Lino Červar has been scrutinized for his tactics, which includes pulling the goalie in critical moments of the match. Croatian handball have not played in a championship game since the 2010 Euros. Changes are on the horizon.
Here’s what Vedran Solaja had to say about pulling the goalie and the current state of Croatian handball. Solaja is a good friend to CroatianSports.com and an avid handball fan: