Croatia reach the final of European Handball Championship after thrilling semi-final

Written by
Marc Rowlands

The Croatian National Handball team have reached the final of the Men's European Handball Championship. Their achievement came after an absolutely thrilling semi-final which went right to the wire, played against opponents Norway.

The semi-final, which took place in Stockholm, was an incredible, even-handed affair, with both teams battling hard to edge above the other. No clear leader emerged throughout the nail-biting game and Croatian fans present at the stadium, plus the thousands watching from homes and bars throughout Croatia, were on the edge of their seats for the duration. So evenly-matched were the teams that the game had to be extended twice, as the scores persisted to remain level.

The teams were locked in a tied score of 26-26 after the first period of extra time. During the second extension, Croatia's Zeljko Musa finally managed to score another of Croatia's thrilling goals from the game, pulling Croatia ahead with less than a couple of seconds to go and, crucially, Croatian keeper Matej Asanin had managed an incredible save, the ball almost passing underneath his arm and into the goal, ensuring that Norway could not gain the upper hand.

As the game was called to a close, there were ecstatic scenes witnessed from the rejoicing Croatian players and the huge Croatian contingent in the stands. Across the capital city of Zagreb, a thunderous cheer could be heard being issued from almost every cafe and bar. Croatia will now meet the winner of the second semi-final, between Spain and Slovenia. The final will be held this Sunday, 26 January. Congratulations guys and sretno (good luck)!

Latest news