Croatia's Blazenko Lackovic raises his arms and shouts to celebrate after they won their men's handball finals match against Germany at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (news - web sites) August 29, 2004. Croatia defeated Germany 26-24. REUTERS/Paul Hanna
Croatia's Petar Metlicic celebrates as he waves his country's flag after they won their men's handball finals match against Germany at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (news - web sites) August 29, 2004. Croatia defeated Germany 26-24. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Croatia win tight men's handball final Sunday, August 29 2004 4:50 Croatia were crowned Olympic handball champions today, after fighting back from a 10-point half-time deficit to beat Germany in the men's final. Mirza Dzomba netted eight times for Croatia in their narrow 26-24 victory. The Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was one of the first to offer his congratulations to the team. "I am very happy because it is our first gold medal and our handball team are world champions and now Olympic champions so I am very proud," he said. "It is a result that will give great happiness to everyone in Croatia. The best thing was that they didn't play very well and they still won. And that goes to show the great strength of the team."
Leading 21-11 (???) at half-time, the Germans held the initiative until the 55th minute when goals from Dzomba and Niksa Kaleb gave Croatia a two-goal advantage that they kept to the end.