Croatia Takes Silver - Second in the World
Sun Jan 23,12:40 PM ET
|Mirza Dzomba of Croatia is embraced by goalkeeper Venio Losert following their victory over France in their men's World Handball Championships semi-final match, in Rades stadium near Tunis, February 5, 2005. Croatia won 35- 32. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier |
Reuters - Feb 05 10:30 AM
|Argentina's Eric Gull (R) shoots to score a goal against Croatia's Denis Spoljaric during their men's Handball World Championship Group C match in Sfax, Tunisia, January 23, 2005. Croatia defeated Argentina 36-23. REUTERS/Jean Paul Pelissier |
|Australia's Bevan Calvert (C) breaks through Croatia's defender Goran Sprem (L) to score a goal against Croatia's goalkeeper Venio Losert (L) during their Men's Handball World Championship Group C match in Sfax, Tunisia, January 26, 2005. REUTERS/Jean Paul Pelissier |
|Croatian player Ivano Balic, right, competes for the ball with French player Gueric Kervadec, during the semifinal of the World Handball Championship between France and Croatia in the Rades stadium in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday Feb. 5, 2005. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere) AP - Feb 05 9:48 AM|
Spain clinches World Handball title after beating Croatia in Tunisia
El Pais Spain | STAFF REPORTER
In an overwhelming show of power, Spain's national handball team beat Sunday World and Olympic champions Croatia in the final of the Handball World Championships, held in Tunisia. This is the first time the Spanish team has clinched victory in the World Championship.
Spain, which had gained a major confidence boost after beating host team Tunisia in the semi-finals, appeared undaunted Sunday before Croatia's impressive track record of recent years, and beat the Olympic gold medalists 40-34.
After pulling ahead by one point in the 10th minute, Juan Carlos Pastor's men held on to their lead for the rest of the game. The Spaniards reached half-time eight points ahead, quashing with their effective defense several powerful attacks by Ivano Balic, the star of the Croatian team.
"This has been an incredible final. Spanish handball deserved this title. This is a great way to start the sporting year for Spain," Jaime Lissavetzky, secretary of state for sports, said after the game.
Lissavetzky traveled to Tunisia to witness the finals along with royal princess Cristina de BorbĆ³n and her husband, IĆ±aki UrdangarĆn, a former member of the national handball team.
France, the 2003 World Champions, took third place after a tight game in which they beat Tunisia 26-25.