CROATIA – JAPAN 35-36 (30-30) (15-18)
Japan finished ninth at the 2019 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship thanks to a victory over Croatia in a match that needed a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner.
Croatia had clearly thought the match would be less of a challenge than it was, as second goalkeeper Fran Lucin started between the posts before Stipe Puric came on when the momentum began to swing towards Japan.
Croatia’s nightmare continued in the second half, as they were unsuccessful on shots they would ordinarily have scored, hitting the post or completely missing the goal. Japan reopened the gap to 25:28, and Croatia fought back again.
With Fran Mileta’s penalty goal in the 56th minute, the deficit was reduced to one, 28:29. At the end, it was 30-30 and match went to penalty shoot-out. Japan won 36-35.
Head Coach Japan – Shinnosuke Uematsu
It was very difficult and dramatic game. We are very very happy. We won against very good opponent. This is very good result. We are very satisfied with the result on this championship.