CAIRO, 23 January 2021 – Croatia’s pursuit of the quarterfinals at the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship in Egypt has been complicated after defeat to Argentina today.
An aggressive Argentina side has beaten Croatia 23-19 to move to second place in Group II.
It was a start to forget for Lino Čevar’s side as Argentina ran out to a 5-0 lead. Croatia would score their first goal of the match after 11 minutes when Ivan Čupić scored from a 7-metre penalty.
Čupić and Igor Karačić would play a big part in getting Croatia back into the match as they clawed back the deficit to go in at the break level at 12-12.
In the second half, Croatia blew a number of chances to get in front on the scoreboard early on and it would prove costly.
Argentina’s aggressive style in defence was causing all sorts of problems for Croatia as they struggled to find the back of the net, scoring just three goals in 22 minutes.
Behind on the scoreboard, Croatia had to take risks and when they made mistakes Argentina were quick to capitalise. Croatia had keeper Ivan Pešić to thank for the margin not being bigger but in the end it was a deserved victory for Argentina.
Croatia must now beat current world champions Denmark in the final match of the round on Monday and hope Argentina do not beat Qatar if they are to qualify for the quarterfinals.