Equalized teams, Croatia and Serbia, opened the match with a tough defence, taking every possible chance. In the 13th minute, Croatia went on a +2 (7:2), but Serbian ace Stefan Sunajko soon scored four in a row, leaving Croatia with 0-4 series and Serbia in a lead with 11:10. However, the home team managed to save the half time leaving the court with +2 (17:15).
The second half started with the Serbian team having two players out for two minutes what helped to the Croatians to go on + 7 (26:19) in the 11th minute. Host team kept the distance an as the second half was coming to an end and they won with 35:29.
Key players: Nikola Ivanovic (SRB), Ivan Martinovic (CRO)
Nenad Maksic, SRB (coach)
“Congratulations to Croatia for all the victories and the semifinal, I wish them luck. The match was interesting, nice to watch, good handball. We gave our best, but we have some injured players. Congrats to my boys to the real fight.”
Nikola Ivanovic, SRB (player)
“What should I say, we gave our best but our defence stopped around 20th minute and we couldn’t go back. We came to take the medal, now we hope for the fifth place. It seems that the Croats were better today and I wish them luck.”
Luka Panza, CRO (coach)
“It was a difficult match, we have shown our quality and that the match against Germany wasn’t accidental. We reached our first goal, the semifinals, and now we will set up new goals.”
Ivan Martinovic, CRO (player)
“We started nervously. We had only victory in our minds, because this is our home, our arena and we have to give our best. We haven’t started as we wished, but it doesn’t matter, because we gave 100 percent and won in the end.”
Main Round, Group II, 2. round
Serbia – Croatia 29:35 (15:17)