The Cowboys finally woke up at this year’s Handball World Championships and gave back-to-back World Champions Denmark all they could handle and more in an enthralling 32-32 tie today. Realistically, Croatia needed to win to advance and played with the desperation of a team knowing this was their last chance, and if this is to be it for them this year, they certainly went down swinging.
In front of a partisan Danish crowd, with the game being played just over the border in Malmo, Croatia came out with the energy and aggressiveness that we have come to expect from them over the years, but had been missing in the loss against Egypt. Croatia led for most of the first half, and went into the locker room up 16-15 at halftime. The most impressive part was keeping Denmark scoreless for a 7-minute span in the 1st Half, which is an eternity in handball.
Even with Marin Šipić playing one of the games of his life, scoring nine goals, it just wasn’t meant to be as Croatia gave up too many penalty shots and picked up too many 2-minute penalties on the night to be able to hang on against a clinical Denmark squad.
If this is to be the end of the Cowboys’ run at this World Championship, this is a performance that they can be proud of. What needs to happen for Croatia to advance now?
Croatia are expected to win out against Belgium and Bahrain and will then need a lot of help from an already qualified Egypt to beat Denmark. Even then, this would leave Croatia and Denmark equal on points, thus going to goal difference, where Croatia trail Denmark by 21 goals currently, with Denmark still to play the USA in a game that they should win by 20+ goals. Croatia will need to win by 20+ against both Belgium and Bahrain just to have a chance (for context, Denmark beat both teams by 15 goals) to make up a 21-goal deficit.
Simply put, it’s very unlikely, but not impossible.
Next up: Croatia-Belgium on Saturday at 18:00 CET
Gvardiol solid in the draw today against Bayern
Stanisic no minutes
Majer invisible in the loss today Vs Marseille
The good news is that the Nation League Finals draw is Wednesday. Our toughest opponent would be Netherlands no doubt. They got home field advantage and were the only team besides France to put more than a goal past Argentina and take them to penalties. Spain aren’t superpowers anymore and can be figured out. When you bow out against Morocco, Russia and Italy in penalties, something is wrong. Italy would be interesting and I’ll take them. Let’s knock out the defending Euro champs. We beat the defending World Cup champs in nations league. Since we can’t beat France at the World Cup or beat the form that Argentina is in. Best we can do is knock France in a semi competitive tournament and perhaps an Italian side that couldn’t qualify for the last two World Cups.
@CC. We fear nobody and don’t care about who or where we play. Why? Because we are a superpower.
If we were a superpower, would’ve overcame Argentina or France in the big games at the WC. Don’t be a homer.
Well a silver and bronze doesn’t put you in a superpower roll then what does? Nobody wins every tournament. C’mon CC you know what I’m rappin about
Egypt did NOT qualify. Any of the 4 teams not with an E can still advance. Croatia’s BEST chance, is for Egypt to lose out, and Croatia to win out. That would be
Denmark – 9 Points
Croatia 7 Points
Bahrain – 6 Points
Egypt – 6 points
Denmark is likely not going to lose to the USA
You are correct that technically Egypt haven’t qualified, but they aren’t losing to Bahrain and Denmark aren’t losing to the US – so I tried to lay out the only realistic possibility. I should have used the words “most likely already qualified Egypt”.
Anything can happen in sport of course, but Egypt are probably at minimum 15:1 favorites to beat Bahrain, so I just don’t see it as realistic.
Thus, I stand by the only realistic path being for Croatia to beat up on Bahrain and Belgium and hope for some help from Egypt.
Cilic will be out for a while. Since he posted on Twitter that he had knee surgery.
This was one of our best performances that I have seen in recent years. The Spanish referees did not do us any favors in this match. Pity that we did not play like this against Egypt in our first match of the tournament. Chances of making the Qtr. Finals are about 1%.
Completely agree – they came out on fire and just wish they had played with that energy against Egypt as it would have been a much different story. All Croatia can do now is do their part and put up massive wins v Belgium and Bahrain……