Croatia defeated reigning European champions, Spain, 23-19 in Munich Thursday night with eight goals coming from veteran Zlatko Horvat. The win ensures the Croatian Cowboys finish the preliminary round with a perfect 5-0 record.
With the 2019 World Handball championships heading into the Main Round, Croatia will begin the new stage with four points as they have already defeated Spain and Iceland in the previous round. Croatia will play Brazil next on Sunday before facing co-hosts Germany on Monday and reigning world champions France on Wednesday.
The real tournament begins now as Croatia has not won gold in handball since the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The top two teams from this round automatically book a spot in the semifinals.