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Tea Pijević was excellent, but that was not enough against Sweden

SWEDEN – CROATIA 22:17 (9:7)
SWEDEN: Bundsen – Mellgaard, Hagman – Blohm – Roberts, Carlson, Koppan, Eriksson, de Jong, Hvevfeld, Lindqvist, Lagerqvist, Thorlefssdottir, Dano, Axner, Lundstrom
CROATIA: Pijević – P. Posavec, Zadravec – Ježić – Mičijević, Blažević, Milosavljević, Bešen, Šimara, Burić, Šenvald, Brkić, Prkačin, Barišić, S. Posavec, Pavlović

The Croatian women’s handball national team finished in second place in Group A after the first round of the IHF World Cup. Croatia has a match against Montenegro on Thursday, and the match will be played in Swedish Güteborg starting at 18:00.

Croatia did not succeed against Sweden, and it went to the second round with only one point, and that point will be sorely missed by the Croatian team in the rest of the competition. The plan for Croatia is, in fact, very simple. The girls must win all three matches, and Montenegro must not win two matches. Croatia is not dependent on itself, but nothing is finished yet.

The biggest problem lay in the fact that Croatia scored only seven goals, and six of those goals came from play. That’s very few goals, considering who is still waiting for Croatia in the competition. In the game “one on one”, Croatia had no chance because the Swedes “read” it very skillfully.

Let’s also mention that the Swedish goalkeeper Eveline Eriksson made 11 saves in the first half of the match. However, Tea Pijević also made 11 saves. But that was not enough. Because Croatia did not capitalize on what it had. Pijević did her job phenomenally, and she knew how to assist.

The Swedes didn’t excel either, but they had the advantage at halftime. The result 9:7 for Sweden is proof of how poor the handball game was in the first half. Naturally, we exclude the goalkeepers of both teams. And they stood out.

Sweden was very strong and aggressive in defense, and in attack, they were very patient. Eventually, Sweden let off the gas and stopped chasing. Sweden let Croatia win on their own, and the advantage was built up with “small steps”. Because Croatia had 14 technical fouls, and in a game like this, that’s too many.

Nothing has been lost yet. Now Croatia has to win everything to have a chance to progress to the next competition. This means that Montenegro and Hungary have to be beaten, and Senegal is a good introduction to the game against Cameroon. Let’s hope that the girls don’t give up and wish them good luck in the future competition.

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