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Handball: Croatia loses to France in Olympic qualifier 

croatia beats france handball Olympic Games qualifier

Ivan Martinović (51) during the IHF Tokyo Handball qualification tournament, France vs Croatia, Montpelier, France (Photo credit: © Jozo Cabraja / kolektiff)

Croatia has made a losing start to the IHF Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Montpellier. 

Croatia, who were being led for the first time by new coach Hrvoje Horvat, lost to France 30-26 on Friday night.  

Croatia, who led from the outset and had a four-goal lead at one point, lead at halftime 15-12.

France, however, would fightback and would equalise before taking the lead with nine minutes left on the clock. Croatia had chances but the home side would hold on to claim the points.

croatia beats france handball Olympic Games qualifier

Sime Ivić (24), Zlatko Horvat (13), Ivan Čupić (27), Manuel Štrlek (26), Željko Musa (28), Josip Šarac (17), Luka Cindrić (33), David Mandić (39), Krešimir Kozina (44) (Photo credit © Jozo Cabraja / kolektiff)

croatia beats france handball Olympic Games qualifier

Ivan Čupić (27) (Photo credit © Jozo Cabraja / kolektiff)

croatia beats france handball Olympic Games qualifier

Domagoj Duvnjak (5) (Photo credit © Jozo Cabraja / kolektiff)

croatia beats france handball Olympic Games qualifier

Zeljko Musa (28), Dika Mem (10), David Mandic (39), Luka Karabatic (22), Igor Karačić (18) (Photo credit © Jozo Cabraja / kolektiff)

The IHF Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament 2 being held in Montpellier features Croatia, France, Tunisia and Portugal. 

Each team plays each other with the top two teams qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Croatia faces Portugal on Saturday, before meeting Tunisia in their final match on Sunday and they will need to win both matches to have a chance to qualify in the top two.

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