Euro Handball Poland 2014

GROUP C: Main round for France


In the first Sunday game in Gdynia France won with Croatia 41:25.This means that they got promoted to the main round and Croats will play only for places 9-16.


Everybody in Gdynia Arena were expecting tough game, as both teams still had chances to get promotion to the main round. Match began France, but they made mistake and ball was in hands of Croatia. However players of Hrvoje Horvat couldn’t break through good defense of France and first goal at the game scored Aymeric Minne. Both teams were pretty nervous and due to that they were making mistakes. At 6th minute France met great problem, as their main player Ludovic Fabregas get his second suspension in that game. After that Croatia took leading 2:3 and soon they had opportunity to enlarge it but they didn’t manage to. While later France took advantage and lead 8:5 with the goals of Sacha Bouchillou, Dylan Garain and Dika Mem. After that coach of Croatia asked for time-out.

Croats were trying to take back advantage but due to good disposition of Julien Meyer they had some problems with scoring. When they catch the contact with France (10:9) two minute suspension got Andrej Obranović and during that time they were losing again by four goals (13:9). France was enlarging the distance and with four minutes to the end of the first half there was six goals. Horvat asked for another time-out but his players weren’t able to reduce it. In last minutes from seven meters didn’t score Marin Jelinić and first part of the match finished 17:11.

In the second half Croats still couldn’t find the way to break through well playing French players, who were doing their job and enlarging distance. With bad six minutes there was more and more goals to the team of Eric Quintin and Hrvoje Horvat decided to make quick reaction and used his last time-out. As he saw it was not helping he started to play va banque and he took off the goalkeeper and send one more player to the attack. It was not working and after fast break by Etienne Mocquais the result was 27:17.

Last minutes were similar ad that was sure that in main round will play the team of France. Croatia seemed to be aware of that and even if they were trying to make game closer they weren’t the same team as in fist minutes of the match. Les Bleus were on their way to promotion and they were certainly matching on their way. France finally won very high with the result 41:25.



Eric Quintin, France, coach: We were a little bit anxious about that game I must say. I knew my team is good, I have great players but we didn’t know if we can do it with Croatia. It is first competition for this age generation and we didn’t know what to expected. We were peaceful and because of that we won that promotion. Congratulations to Croatia also but my players were good and I am happy. Now I want them to play another good match

Aymeric Minne, France, player: We wanted to play good game and we were determined to win. At the beginning we had a little pressure on us but we succeeded to develop our game and with time we were getting better and enlarging the distance.

Hrvoje Horvat, Croatia, coach: It is hard to say something smart after that game. In the beginning we started well but then we didn’t have enough peace and we didn’t react well in offence. We lost too many balls and France scored their counter attacks. It was on them and I want to congratulate.

Matija Babić, Croatia, player: We are disappointed that we didn’t hold with them to win. Today France was better team. During first fifteen minutes we were close but we were not tough enough with our mentality. That decided that we lost.


FRANCE – CROATIA 41:25 (17:11)

France: Bonneau, Meyer – Lenne 2, Moxquais 5, Billant 1, Ferrandier, Garain 4, Minne 6, Kounkoud 3, Lagarde 1, Nozeran 2, Bouchillou 3, Zahm 1, Fabregas 2, Mem 6, Richardson 4.
MVP: Aymeric Minne.
7 metres: 2/3.
5×2 min. (garain, Fabregas – 2×2 min.; Bouchillou).

Croatia: Spikic, Jovic – Babic M. 6, Babic A. 1, Ivkovic 2, Jelinic 2, Jurakic 2, Kota 1, Obranovic, Rados, Sehic, Sipic 2, Smojver 1, Tokic 1, Vrdoljak 2, Zobec 5.
MVP: Matija Babić.
7 meters: 4/6.
Suspensions: 3×2 min. (Zobec, Obranovic, Kota).

Referees: Lars Jorum and Kim-Rune Stenhaugmo (Norway).
Supervisor: Viktor Konopliastyi (Ukraine).
Observer: Pablo Permuy (Spain).


3 3 0 0 113:79 +34 6
2 Francja FRANCE 3 2 0 1 110:83 +27 4
3 Chorwacja Croatia 3 1 0 2 89:103 -14 2
4 Rumunia Romania 3 0 0 3 80:127 -47 0