rukomet handball croatia poland kolinda.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JACEK BEDNARCZYK

 The match which happens once in a decade gave an amazing conclusion of the Main Phase in front of 15.000 sad domestic fans! Croatia needed the win against Poland with 11 and more goals to reach the semi-finals. 

Against all odds, Croatian team stunned the hosts winning 37:23. Not only they reach Semi Finals, but this  is the first European Handball Championship without the French team in the last eight years (4 championships)

In the previous game when Norway defeated France. French team still had a chance of reaching the semi-finals if Croatia beat Poland with a 5-10 goal difference. 

Poland was almost unrecognizable tonight with unorganized attacks while Croatia returned to their characteristic fast breaks and efficient combinations laying the foundations for tonight’s sensational win by the end of the first half at 15:10.

After the break, they continued the destruction of the home team, who only scored their first goal of the second half after ten minutes. Croatia reached the difference of eleven goals after 37 minutes, and what had been the wildest fantasy before the starting whistle suddenly started to become a reality.

Croatia’s reserve goalkeeper Ivan Stevanovic was awarded the best player of the match after collecting 13 saves from 35 shots, while Manuel Strlek, the left wing of Polish club KS Vive Tauron Kielce, was the top scorer of the match with 11 goals at 100%. Karol Bielecki and Michal Daszek led Poland with four goals each.

Croatia will play against Spain in the battle for the final. 

Watch full match Poland - Croatia here.

STANDINGS:
Norway 9
Croatia 6
France 6
Poland 6
Belarus 2
Macedonia 1

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Germany win men's European handball title

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