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Date: 8/24/2008

CRO-ESP 29:35 (14:12)
A considerable improvement in the second half secured Spain's Olympic bronze medal after a finally clear win over title holders Croatia. This Beijing victory means the third Olympic bronze medal for Spain, which has been participating in the handball tournaments under the Five Rings since 1980. They had climbed the rostrum in 1996 and in 2000. The Iberians thus took revenge for the preliminaries defeat on matchday 1 against the handball players from the Balkan region.
Both teams lined-up well in attack but none of them managed to break away. Until 12:12 the match was even. Croatia achieved a 2-goal lead at minute 30. Playmaker Ivano Balic missed a direct free-throw with the half-time whistle to extend the margin to three goals. Croatia showed a solid team performance but revealed some difficulties in defence. Spain's defence improved in the second half to unsettle the title defenders. Consequently the Iberians rushed ahead to 18:17 and then two counter-attacks after Croatian ball loss helped them to raise the score to 26:22 (‘48). Croatia's Domagoj Duvnjak acting in the playmaker's position set the tone but could not avoid Spain's final cruising to a trouble-free win and to their Olympic bronze medal.


3. Spain
4. Croatia
5. Poland
6. Russia
7. Denmark
8. Korea
9. Germany
10. Egypt
11. Brazil
12. China