POREČ, 16 June 2019 – The Croatian handball team has beaten Belgium in Poreč on Sunday evening to qualify for the 2020 European handball championships.
Despite resting four key players, Domagoj Duvnjak, Manuel Štrlek, Luka Stepančić and Željko Musa, Lino Červar’s team were too good for Belgium, winning 28-19 (15-9) to go through their qualifying group undefeated.
The ‘Cowboys’, who were in the same group as Switzerland, Serbia and Belgium, won all their matches in their group besides a 25-25 draw again Serbia.
Croatia now qualify for the 2020 European handball championships which will be held in Austria, Norway and Sweden in January.
This is the second time in history Croatia has gone through qualifying undefeated. The only other time was when they went unbeaten in the 2016 European handball championship qualifiers.
The 2020 European handball championships will be Croatia’s 14th. Croatia is the only nations with France and Spain who have not missed out on a European championship.
Croatia has won five medals at European championships to date – 2 silver (2010, 2008) and 3 bronze (2016, 2012, 1994). Croatia will be one of the seeds for the draw for the tournament when it is made on 28 June in Vienna.