After a day of rest and transfers from Koprivnica, Rijeka and Opatija, the 8 best teams of the 10th World Championship started the final matches. It is difficult to say which pair was more interesting, more exciting, more uncertain before those meetings. Each offered their own story. At the end of the long handball day, Egypt, Spain, Denmark and Croatia had the most reasons for satisfaction.
EGYPT – FAROE ISLANDS 38:34 after extra time (31:31)
Great handball was offered to us by Egypt and the Faroe Islands. Everything was there. Excellent actions, magnificent goalkeeper defenses, spectacular goals. Except in the beginning, Egypt led practically the entire first half. Only once did their advantage amount to plus three goals (3:6). But they went into the break with an even score (13:13). The second part belonged to the Faroe Islands. Entering the last minute, the Faroe Islands handball players had three extra goals (31:28) and it seemed that there was no escape for Egypt. But with two miraculous saves from goalkeeper Youssuf Ahmed, they got back into the game. The islanders had about 20 seconds for the last attack and victory, but they missed a 100% chance, and Egypt scored on the other side with the sound of the siren, and they had to go to overtime.
There, Egypt showed a lot more, among other things, due to better rotation. Fatigue reached The islanders, so the defending champions won 38:34 at the end. With 11 goals, Ziad Hashad was the best individual of the match. The best scorer of the Championship, Oli Mittun, scored one more goal on the other side. It is Egypt’s second semi-final in a row at the World Cadet Championships. Four years ago they were winners.
SPAIN – GERMANY 32:28
European champions Spain won against Germany 32:28, thus stopping that country in their seventh attempt to win gold. Germany entered the match better. And led the first 14 minutes. But the young, energetic and super talented Spain then came to their working temperature, took control of the match and as a result did not stop until the end. The biggest advantage in the first half, which ended with the Spanish leading 16:12, was 4 goals. In the second half, the advantage went as high as eight (23:15). But as the Germans never surrender, they didn’t this time either. Little by little they caught up with the Spaniards and two and a half minutes before the end they came to minus three (30:27). And they stopped there. The young Spanish handball players played a very wise final, as if they had hundreds of games in their legs and celebrated 32:28. That’s their sixth victory at this World Championship. Đorđe Cikuša Jeličić and Ferran Oliveras Castillo each scored 7 goals. The best German was Marvin Siemer also with 7 goals.
DENMARK – PORTUGAL 35:25
Denmark continued their winning streak at this World Championship. After Chile, Mexico and Austria in the first round, or North Macedonia and Norway in the second round, they were better than Portugal in the quarter-finals. They confirmed that they are one of the favorites for a reason. Portugal had only one tie in the entire match, at 1:1. Denmark led the rest of the time. Their biggest advantage in the first part was six goals. That’s how the first half ended (20:14). The Portuguese defense couldn’t do anything to the Danes in the second half either. They passed through it whenever they wanted. At one point, there was a glimmer of hope for Portugal when they came to minus three (23:20), but then they made two technical errors and that was the end of the story. Until the end Denmark played they completely dominant game and won with a huge ten points difference. The winning team was at almost 70 percent of the realization. The goalkeepers contributed to the victory with 17 saves. Their best scorer was Emil Frederik Pedersen with 9 goals. Among the Portuguese, the first name was Filipe Monteiro, also with 9 goals.
CROATIA – NORWAY 33:25
Due to the injuries of Tonći Ivanišević and Marko Tkalec, Croatian coach Krešo Ivanković had to change the team for the match against Norway. Marin Tomšić was in the team for the first time, and Karlo Jurić (served the penalty match) and Luka Malinarich, who took a break against Hungary, returned.
It was a very tough handball. Not even a millimeter of terrain wasn’t left to the opponent. Croatia mostly led in the first part. Norway was in the lead only once and that was at the beginning 2:3. The defenses were extremely solid on both sides. Each goal required a lot of effort. Croatia was the first to bring their game to a level with few oscillations. With the excellent Tino Herceg at the goal in the last ten minutes, they started to build their advantage. And at the break they took a big plus five (14:9).
Croatia maintained a high level of play in the second half as well. Not for a single moment did they offer Norway a chance and hope to return to the game. Indeed. Our lead kept growing. In the 45th minute, we were at a big 8 points difference (25:17). We also had a plus 11. And it ended with eight goals and a 33:25 advantage. The first scorer of our team was Martin Tomšić with 8 goals from eight attempts. Six were given by Aleksandar Čaprić, who was also chosen as the player of the match. In Norway, Lasse Lunde Lid was the best with 9 goals. After 6 years, Croatia is again in the semi-finals of the World Cadet Championship. European champion Spain is waiting for them there.