France wins EHF M18 EURO 2016 in front of full “Fran Galović” sporthall in Koprivnica! Host Croatia had six goal lead in second half which they did not manage to keep until the end. France had great series of few consecutive goals which launched them to the title.
In first half match was real final, tight, hard with a lot of fight. Both Croatia and France were playing goal for goal and non of this two teams managed to clinch impotant win. Almost with a buzzer Croatia scores and leaves for half time break with minimal lead.
Second half was key to Croatian win. They had great series of goals, mostly from fast breaks what put them up in six goal lead. But just like in bronze medal match, France managed to first equalize and than have three goal lead (31:28). It showed in the end that Croatia was broken and France will be the winner of this Championship.
In the end of this day and Championship teams were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals. Damir Poljak, secretary general and Carmen Manchado member of EHF Competition Commision handed bronze medals to Germany. Damir Poljak and Rui Coelho (EHF Court of Handball) handed silver to Croatia while gold medals were handed by Tomislav Grahovac, president of Croatian Handball Federation and Leopold Kalin EHF EXEC member. Arne Elovsson EHF Vice-President awarded Championship plate to France.
Eric Quintin, FRA (coach)
“We didn’t lose our control because we were losing. We expected that this match is going to be hard against Croatia because they are such good tean. Our heads were completely cold before the match. We only needed to play better in some details, our goalkeeper made good saves, Croatia lost three balls and maybe this was decisive. We have good group, not only six or seven, we have 16 players. We rotated a lot and we came to this match fresh enough. I’m happy because this was good handball match, good for fans and for players to grow up so everything is positive. ”
Gael Tribillon, FRA (player)
“This was very good final. I’m very happy! This team is incredible! We were losing for 40 minutes by six goals, we came back and won with two goals. Incredible!”
Luka Panza, CRO (coach)
“We have to be happy with whole Championship. We are a bit sorry for this loss in the final but I think after we sleep on this we will be aware that this is big result. We managed to develop players, that players are better than they were at the beginning. We have one generation that is proud to represent Croatian handball and that is the biggest win in all this.”
Adrian Miličević, CRO (player)
“There is for sure a bit of sadness because we didn’t win gold. But after 52 days of trainings, tiredness, tears because of hard trainings it would be stupid to cry again. We are happy, we reached our goal to go to semifinal. We gave our best until the last second. France was better and we need to congratulate them.”
Gold medal match
France – Croatia 40:38 (18:19)