A great performance by Croatia has seen them record an important victory over Serbia at the 2022 EHF European Men’s Handball Championship in Hungary on Saturday.
After losing to France in the opening group match, it was a must win game for Hrvoje Horvat’s team.
With a large Croatian contingent in the stands in full voice, Croatia got off to the flying start and raced to an early 3-0 lead. They would let Serbia back into the game and after they levelled both teams would trade goals in what was a tight opening 20 minutes.
Serbia managed to take the lead towards the end of the first half but Croatia would score three answered goals to go into halftime leading 11-9.
Goalkeeper Mate Šunjić made two important saves early in the second half and Ivan Čupić would capitalise at the other end to help Croatia extend their lead.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Croatia led by 4 goals, 19-15 and their urgency and organisation on defence made it tough for Serbia to get back into the game.
Croatia led by three goals with five minutes remaining and they did not let their lead slip, winning the match 23-20.
Croatia, who have two points with Serbia, two behind France, now play Ukraine in the final group game on Monday, 17 January. A victory will guarantee them a spot in the second round if France beats Serbia.
Croatia, who were finalists last year, are playing in their 15th European Championships.