Heated start, Mandic sees blue: Croatia cannot stop France

The European handball championship in Hungary and Slovakia began with an experienced win in a heated top game for France, which was always favorite. The hosts were both subject to.

Nikola Karabatic was one of the winners at the start of the EM.

AFP via Getty Images

The top favorites of the European Championship started the tournament successfully. Defending champion Spain prevailed against the Czech Republic on Thursday evening in Bratislava with 28:26 (14:11). Olympic champions France, world champions Denmark, record European champions Sweden and Norway also achieved victories at the start. Co-hosts Hungary, on the other hand, suffered a surprising defeat in their first game in front of more than 20,000 spectators in Budapest.

The Hungarians lost against outsiders Netherlands, despite the loud support of their fans, with 28:31 (10:13). In contrast, the other contenders for the title showed no nakedness.

Heated top game – Croatian Mandic sees blue

France prevailed in the first top game of the tournament with 27:22 (13:11) against the corona-plagued Croatians. The Olympic champion and record world champion won after a heated 60 minutes. The team around top star Nikola Karabatic also benefited from the fact that the former Melsunger David Mandic even saw the blue card after a foul, which, in contrast to the red card, initiates disciplinary proceedings. The Croatian can thus be banned from further games. In the second game of Group C, Serbia clearly won against Ukraine in Szeged with 31:23 (17:11).

Denmark clearly won 30:21 (18:10) against Montenegro, Sweden won 30:18 (17:11) against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Norway also had no problems at the start and prevailed against co-hosts Slovakia with 35:25 (15:11). The German team starts the tournament against Belarus on Friday evening (6 p.m. / ARD).

Statistics for the top game

Croatia – France 22:27 (11:13)
Croatia: M. Mandic, Pesic, Sunjic – Cupic 6/5, Lucin 4, Martinovic 3, Sipic 3, D. Mandic 2, Susnja 2, Gadza 1, Srna 1, Glavas, Grahovac, Ivic, Jaganjac, Mihic
France: Gerard, Pardin – Descat 7/4, Mem 6, Fabregas 5, Mahé 3, N. Karabatic 1, Kounkoud 1, Y. Lenne 1, Minne 1, Nahi 1, Porte 1, Konan, Lagarde, Richardson, Tournat
Referee: Vaclav Horacek (Czech Republic) / Jiri Novotny (Czech Republic)
Penalty minutes: 8 / 2
Disqualification: D. Mandic (47.) / –

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