France make it to the EHF EURO in style
It was the fifth duel against Croatia since 2009, and for the fifth time, France are the winners. On Sunday, the 27:19 win in the rematch of the 2020 EHF EURO semi-final, was the key for the 12th straight EHF EURO participation of the French side. In contrast to the close 21:19 result in the reverse fixture on Thursday, the hosts were never in danger. While France have the optimum of eight points from four matches, Croatia remain on two points - and most likely have a “final” against the Czech Republic ahead in their final qualification match.
France vs Croatia 27:19 (13:9)
- despite an early 8:5 advantage for the hosts, the match was tight until the 9:9, before a 4:0 run of the hosts paved the way to the halftime score of 13:9 and the victory
- French goalkeeper Laura Glauser showed a brilliant performance in a defence-orientated match, saving 44% of all Croatian shots; later she was replaced by Cleopatre Darleux who added eight saves
- France remained in full control of the match, and when EHF EURO 2020 MVP Estelle Nze Minko scored to make it 21:14, the winners were confirmed
- 11 French players were on the scorer list, topped by four, who netted each four times, while Dejana Milosavljevic was best scorer with four goals of the Croatians, who lost Dora Krsnik after an injury in the second half
- scoring the 4:4, Kristian Prkacin netted the 1500th goal for Croatia in their 55th EHF EURO qualification match
France clinch their 12th EHF EURO berth in a row
Since 2000, France had qualified for all Women’s EHF EURO final tournaments - and this series continues with their 12th participation in a row. The Tokyo Olympic champions have a full set of EHF EURO medals, after winning bronze in 2002, 2006 and 2016. They took the trophy on home ground in Paris for the first and so far only time by beating Russia in the 2018 final. In 2020, they took silver after a close defeat against Norway, the same team they lost to in the 2021 World Championship final.