Croatia cut it close in the second half after a 6-goal deficit at halftime but it wasn’t enough to grab a point against World Champions France. The French would remain undefeated in the tournament, defeating Croatia 30-27 on home soil to oust the Cowboys from the Euro Handball tournament. Croatia will now play in the 5th place game against the Czech Republic on Friday, the 26th.
It all comes down to this for the Croatian Cowboys. They will play a must-win game. In Zagreb. Against the reigning World Handball champions- France.
And a semifinal berth at the 2018 Euro handball championships is on the line.
There’s a few other scenarios that could get Croatia by to the final four, but for all intents and purposes, they will need to beat France by a larger margin than Sweden beats Norway; if in fact that happens.
France is the only perfect team left at the tournament; going 5-0 with a +30 goal differential in those game. (The win against Austria in the preliminary group does not carry over.)
Although Sweden and Croatia are tied on points, Sweden already beat Croatia and own the tiebreaker. Sweden will play Norway before the France match Wednesday night and Croatians will be rooting for a Norwegian result in that match. If Sweden lose, Croatia would only need a draw against the French. Or if Sweden draws, a Croatia win will get them through.
The Croatia-France match starts at 2:30PM (ET).