In the first round of the Main Round in the Men’s EHF EURO 2018, the hosts defeated Belarus in a close match. Croatia mustn’t lose any point now if they want to reach the semifinals in the competition. Right from the first moments, Croatia took the lead (4-1). Belarus didn’t let the hosts out of sight but the Croats managed to keep the lead. Until the end of the first half, Croatia worked out a three-goal advantage (15-12). The second half went the same way: Croatia was going in front but Belarus was running close behind, putting pressure on the hosts. With the support of the home crowd, Croatia managed to keep the lead until the 58th minute when Belarus equalized (23-23) and the last two minutes promised a lot of excitement. When the situation seemed bad for the Croats, Luka Cindric scored from out of nowhere. Belarus had a chance to equalize in the last minute, but they committed two attacking fouls: one was saved by the timeout of the Belorussian coach but the second one meant that Croatia won the match. In the final seconds, Marko Kopljar scored one more to make it 25-23, so Croatia could celebrate a hard-fought victory.
EHF EURO 2018 – Main Round
Croatia – Belarus 25-23 (15-12)
Croatia: L. Stepancic 5, M. Mamic 5, L. Cindric 4, Z. Musa 3, Z. Horvat 3, M. Kopljar 2, M. Strlek 2, M. Maric 1
Belarus: A. Yurynok 6, B. Pukhouski 5(3), U. Kulesh 5, A. Karalek 4, S. Shylovich 1, A. Padshyvalau 1, A. Karvatski 1
Penalties: 0/2 ; 3/3
Suspensions: 2 minutes ; 6 minutes