Four tickets to Paris!

2017 World Championship is on!
January 12, 2017
That’s a wrap: 2017 France World Championship recap!
January 31, 2017

After the preliminary round full phenomenal handball in every sense of the word, it’s time to kick off the knock-out phase! There are no more mistakes allowed whatsoever for the teams that hope to qualify to the 1/8 final. Only from there, they can go further. In the tournaments with the level as high as this, everyone shall go step by step…

However, not everything always goes as planned. Talant Duhjshebaev and the team of Poland should know, as the third-placed from the last World Championship in Qatar 2015 were sent home with the end of the group phase, ending it at the 4th place which was not enough to continue the tournament. Besides them, Japan was the second team that had to leave Nantes perhaps a little bit too soon. The hosts, France, expectedly topped the Group A at the end of the first phase. Norway, Russia and Brazil also qualified.

Spain ruled the Group B and, with the full effect of 10 wins out of 10 matches, smoothly advanced to the eighth final. Angola left Metz with no points, but not even Tunisian 4 points were enough to advance to the next round of the tournament. Slovenia, Macedonia and Iceland also qualified.

After the fifth round in Rouen, Germany continued the Championship with the 100% effect. Everything seemed to go as planned for the current European champions. Saudi Arabia and Chile were the ones from Group C to leave France, both collecting a win and 2 points. Croatia, Belarus and Hungary also qualified.

In Group D‘s preliminary round the most successful were Denmark. The current Olympic champions also managed to keep it 100% after the first phase of the competition. Argentina and Bahrain left Paris not qualifying for the final round. The rest of the teams from Group D that qualified for the next phase are Sweden, Egypt and Qatar.

The knockout phase started with the face-offs between the sixteen best. The spectators had the opportunity to witness the great amounts of handball through the following matches: Norway – Macedonia, France – Iceland, Russia – Slovenia, Brazil – Spain, Belarus – Sweden, Hungary – Denmark, Germany – Qatar and Croatia – Egypt. The matches in which even the world’s best teams had to watch each step of the opponent brought some major changes in the current world’s range of handball. A ‘bad day’ came at the cost even for those that were, by many, considered the favorites of the tournament: the Olympic champions, Denmark, and the European champions Germany had to say goodbye to their hunt for the world title. Macedonia, Iceland, Russia, Brazil, Belarus and Egypt also ended the competition at this point.

The quarter-finals announced the four big clashes between Norway – Hungary, France – Sweden, Slovenia – Qatar and Spain – Croatia. Norway were able to stop Hungary winning 31:28 in a dominant, but narrow match. The hosts edged Sweden in front of more than 28 000 fans at Stade-Pierre Mauroy proving their role of the favorites. Vujovic’s Slovenia beat Qatar making a historic result but saying they do not plan on stopping. Though dominating throughout the whole match, Croatia slips at the last minutes of the match, but eventually celebrates over Spain for the ultimate semi-final entrance.

The final stage continues on a dramatic note full of phenomenal handball. If this tournament has taught us something, it is that we can hardly predict what will happen in France. Five-time world champions, France, ambitious and growing Norway, young but almighty Slovenia and the omnipotent Croatia that want to meet France in the finals for a new handball ‘el clasico’. These are the four teams that booked the final tickets to Paris.

What happens in France… the whole world wonders!

Be the first to find out:

26/01/2017 France – Slovenia 9 PM CET

27/01/2017 Croatia – Norway 8:45 PM CET