Very nice operation for the French handball team this Friday, during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (TQO) which takes place in Montpellier. The Blues were very scared against Croatia, before moving definitively at the end of the game (30-26). You absolutely have to finish in the top two to go to Tokyo.
This French handball team definitely likes to play on the nerves of its supporters. Mistreated – and led short by three to four goals during a good part of the match – the Blues finally beat Croatia this Friday (30-26), at the opening of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Montpellier.
After a balanced start to the match, the Croats made the difference offensively to return to the locker room by leading 15-12. And it was finally necessary to wait until the last quarter of an hour to see the French, deprived of Nikola Karabatic (injured knee) reverse the trend, with an advantage in the score taken eight minutes from time. The opponents of the Blues ended up lowering the pace by multiplying the faults, while France operated more against. Final victory but it was hot for the players of Guillaume Gille.
Two places to take
The route des Bleus to Tokyo goes through an Olympic qualifying tournament. A first for 13 years for the French handball team, which is paying for its drop in performance, with a totally missed Euro, somewhat offset by a semi-final at the last World Cup (and a fourth place final).
To qualify for the Japanese Olympics next summer (and make an eighth participation in a row in the most beautiful tournament), the French must absolutely take one of the first two places in the TQO of Montpellier. This victory against Croatia is a big step towards Japan. The Blues continue this Saturday against Tunisia, before playing Portugal on Sunday.