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Croatian Cowboys Crash Out: What Now? And Why? (UPDATED)

January 22, 2019

Igor Karačić



Croatia was looking awfully good at this year’s World Handball Championships; being hosted by Germany and Denmark.



The Cowboys went a perfect 5-0 in the preliminary round, which included a 23-19 victory over reigning European champions Spain.



But then they hit a wall once the Main Round began for them on Sunday. Croatia lost 29-26 to a less talented Brazil side and then lost again to co-hosts Germany Monday night in Koln. A win in either of these matches would have put Croatia in position to make the semifinals, but now, the Cowboys would be lucky to play in the 5th Place match.



Croatia and Germany battled out an 11-11 first half before the germans went on a run in the second frame. Germany were up by three at one point but the Croatians battled back to tie it up late before the Germans got the last say in a 22-21 victory. From the Main Round, it is already confirmed that Germany and France will play in the semifinals . Croatia will face reigning world champions France on Wednesday.



Head coach Lino Červar has been scrutinized for his tactics, which includes pulling the goalie in critical moments of the match. Croatian handball have not played in a championship game since the 2010 Euros. Changes are on the horizon.



Here’s what Vedran Solaja had to say about pulling the goalie and the current state of Croatian handball. Solaja is a good friend to and an avid handball fan:





“Well, the idea was to have one more man in attack to create pressure on defense and to score faster. Usually, that involves putting in a second pivot, however, there was not enough action on the Croatian side to make it happen. Instead our playmakers were trying hard through the middle with individual solutions which resulted in mistakes that lead to the German defense easily countering on an empty Croatian goal.



In theory it’s an interesting strategy, however, the entire team must be extremely disciplined and patient enough to execute until the very end.



But let’s not forget handball is 50% goalie just like in ice hockey. If you don’t have a world class goalie, there is no chance of success. My point is, we have Sego having a great tournament and waste the opportunity. Even if you attack 6-on-6 and the defense counters; at least you can have your goalie make a difference and defend a clear goal chance counter, which he did several times yesterday against the Germans.



Coach Červar lacks common strategy when it comes to all his players. Brazil beat Croatia because their smart coach rotated his entire roster to play an aggressive, dynamic defense against Croatia which made the Cowboys look tired and weak.



Červar could do the same thing with our roster but chose to force Duvnjak, whose time is up with national team; let’s face it. He must let the younger players play.



For example, Halil Jaganjac is our next superstar and Červar leaves him off the roster before the tournament. It makes no sense. “




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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 9 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    They still got Moro, Majer, Marin, Šunjić, Livaković, Orsić, etc.

    Most of these guys will probably pan out and become solid players for our National team.

  2. Idemo says:

    Very very bad reffin at a very pivotal stage

    If u watch American football worse than the no call on the saints


    @Idemo there was no call on the Saints because NFL wanted Pats vs LA Rams Final Brady/Belichicks first ring for Pats was versus the St Louis Rams all Entertainment like WWE either missed tackles or strange referee decisions calls FULL CIRCLE for Brady 1st and last ring 6 Belichick is 66.

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