After a day of rest, competitions continued at the 10th World Cadet Championship in Opatija, Rijeka, Koprivnica and Varazdin. In the 4 main groups, 8 national teams entered the second round with two points each, and 8 arrived empty-handed. In other words, it was a day in which some teams could catch the train to the quarter finals with a win, and some of them with a defeat could say goodbye to entering the TOP 8 at this World Championship. The opportunity to secure the quarter finals was not missed by the national teams of Croatia, Egypt, Spain, Denmark and Norway. Here is a brief overview of those matches:
VARAZDIN: MAIN ROUND 1
HUNGARY – PORTUGAL 29:31
CROATIA – SLOVENIA 32:25
Hungary lost a won game against Portugal in an incredible way. Namely, after a great opening in which they had 9:2 in the 14th minute, and a big plus five at the break (16:11), the Hungarians started the rest of the game somewhat sleepily. And Portugal took advantage of it. Goal by goal, they melted away the Hungarian advantage and in the 41st minute reached a tie at 19:19. Then Hungary started again and soon had a three goal difference (23:20). Victory seemed to be there. But the persistent Portuguese did not think so, they refused to surrender. Seven minutes before the end, they were tied again (27:27) and four minutes before the end they were in the lead 28:27. The Hungarians completely lost their heads in the remaining time and ended up losing the game. The phenomenal Tamas Kovacs, who scored as many as 14 goals, did not help them either. Portugal won 31:19. Only the second half was 20:12. The first scorers of the winning team Tiago Sousa and Joao Laurenco with 6 goals each. Miraculously.
Croatia did not miss the opportunity to secure the quarter-finals by winning against Slovenia. It was a real handball war. It took more than 4 minutes for the Croatian national team to score the first goal. Slovenia was calmer and more rational in the first quarter. Then Croatia takes control of the result. But soon remains without two players, because Karlo Jurić and Aleksandar Čaprić were given straight red cards, who, according to the French referees, committed too many fouls, and by that point they had scored 6 of our 9 goals. And the advantage went to Slovenia again for a short time. But in the last ten minutes, Croatia found their true game and took plus two to the break (13:11).
In the second part, Croatia was even better. Already at the end of the third quarter, they had a five-goal difference. Tin Herceg defended brilliantly in those moments and Tonći Ivanišević scored in attack. In the end, Croatia won by a huge margin of 7 goals and secured the way to the quarter finals. The final result was 32:25. Tonći Ivanišević was the player of the match, scoring 7 goals. For Slovenia, Nejc Hriberšek was the best with 9 goals.
KOPRIVNICA: MAIN ROUND 2
EGYPT – BRAZIL 38:23
SPAIN – CZECH REPUBLIC 29:21
Egypt continued its winning streak against Brazil. The defending champions were simply unstoppable. They scored in series and increased their advantage practically from minute to minute. In the 9th minute, they led 9:2. Seven minutes later it was 13:4, and they went to the break with 9 extra goals (19:10). Brazil tried hard in the second half, but could not do anything. Egypt opened the second part with a series of five goals, raised its advantage to plus 14 and played the rest of the match at half strength. Their goalkeeprs had a total of 16 saves. The first scorer was Mohamed Elbattawi with 8 goals. For Brazil, 4 goals by Emerson Alves Dos Santos.
Spain once again confirmed that they are rightfully considered one of the favorites of the competition. Against the Czech Republic, they controlled the match from start to finish. At times, they seemed to dose their efforts and step up their game when they needed. In the first half, they had an advantage of two to six goals. At the break, Spain brought four (14:10).
The Czech Republic held on solidly until the end of the 45th minute. Then it started to drop slightly, and the Spaniards took advantage of that, first increasing their advantage to six, then to eight goals and solving the question of the winner. It ended 29:21, if it was needed more, it seemed that the Spaniards would have done it with ease. Goalkeeper Alvaro Perez Mendez had 16 saves. Victor Romero Holguin, Petar Jeličić and Cikuša each scored 6 goals. On the other side, Filip Matoušek had the same performance.
RIJEKA: MAIN ROUND 3
DENMARK – NORTH MACEDONIA 37:30
NORWAY – AUSTRIA 29:22
We watched a great match with a large number of goals in Rijeka in the clash between Denmark and North Macedonia. As expected, the Danes started violently. And already after the 9th minute they had a double advantage (8:4). By the end of the break, the advantage had grown to six goals (18:12). The Macedonians did not give up. On the contrary, they showed the character that adorns them throughout the tournament. And with a series of 1:5, in the 35th minute they came to minus three (20:17). So they repeated it in the 54th minute (31:28). But they couldn’t go further than that. Denmark soon destroyed them with a series of six goals and in the end celebrated with a huge result (37:30). The first scorer was Lasse Sunesen Vilhelmsen. The best Macedonians were David Dimevski and Andrej Stojanovski with 6 goals each.
Norway defeated Austria and thus left them without a chance for the quarter finals. The first quarter went smoothly to the Norwegians (10:5). Then the Austrians managed to score 3 goals in a row for the first time and get close to minus two (10:8). But until the end of the first part, Norway still held on and went to the locker room with 4 extra goals (14:10).
We saw a big fight in the second half. The Norwegians held the lead, but Austria was always close. In the 50th minute, three goals behind (21:18). But the Austrians fell again in the end and Norway eventually won 29:22. Interestingly, only slightly more than 50 percent of the realization was achieved by both teams. For the Norwegians, a great Lase Lunde Lidwith 10 goals. Along with goalkeeper Leon Theodor Bergman (16 saves), the Austrians also had a strong asset in Clemns Mostl, who scored 5 goals.
OPATIJA: MAIN ROUND 4
GERMANY – FAROE ISLANDS 28:30
IRAN – SAUDI ARABIA 26:29
The surprise of the day was provided by the young handball players of the Faroe Islands. In a beautiful game they beat Germany 30:28 and thus complicated the situation in that group until the end. Germany led for the first 20 or so minutes. Then the advantage shifts to the side of the Faroe Islands, who didn’t let it go until the end. The key moments of the match were in the middle of the second half, when the Faroe Islands team scored 5 goals in a row. By pressing all over the field, the Germans managed to get to minus one at one point, but not to a complete turnaround. Little Oli Mittun had a fantastic day, scoring as many as 13 goals. Goalkeeper Alekasanar Locok was also great, making 15 saves. Interestingly, only 7 saves were made by German goalkeepers.
Iran lost in the last quarter against Saudi Arabia in the match between the Asian representatives and missed the opportunity to secure the quarter final today. The Iranians led from start to finish. They slowly built their advantage. Until eight minutes before the break, the Saudis were a goal or two behind. And that is not an advantage that could not be reached. However, they fell at the end of the first part, when Iran made its biggest series of three goals in a row and at the end of the half it was plus four (14:10). The Iranians kept their advantage for another 15 minutes. And Saudi Arabia just then found what they needed. Those are goals scored in a row. From the 45th minute and the score 23:17 for Iran, they made an incredible run of 10:1, and in the 58th minute they led 24:27. Everything else was routine and they celebrated 26:29 and stayed in the game for the quarter finals.