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Tense Balkan derby gives edge to Croats who win group

FYRO MACEDONIA VS CROATIA 150121Qatar 2015 M41 MKD vs CRO-OW 15436A xlarge

Macedonia - Croatia 26:29 (14:15)

The Balkan derby lived up to the expectations as both teams demonstrated their passion and best of their skills to the roar of enthusiastic and partisan Duhail Sports Hall. Both teams were encouraged to show their best form by both sections of the vociferous and bright in colours fans of Macedonia and Croatia. Particularly the Macedonians were represented by a very large group of supporters equipped with all sorts of drums, pipes and flags who drummed to the incredible pace of this extremely intense game. The Macedonians opened the score and it took a couple of minutes for the Croats to reciprocate.

FYRO MACEDONIA VS CROATIA 150121Qatar 2015 M41 MKD vs CRO- B1 0872 xlarge

After that both teams started their ferocious exchange of goals with the Macedonians taking the lead with regular intervals through the efforts of Kiril Lazarov, Georgievski and Manaskov. The Croats responded to that with the scoring efforts of Cupic and Bicanic, pulling the scores level at 13:13 on the 27th minute. By the end of the first half both teams were still tied yet the Croats managed to finish on top before going to their dressing room for the half time break (15:14). The second period started with a surge of Macedonian attacking activity. The exchange of fast breaks and goals was almost a constant feature of this game in both halves. In the middle of the second half the Croats took a confident and well deserved lead (23:18). There was a clear impression that the Macedonians were tiring from the game's incredibly fast pace. Instead the Croats were throwing their full weight at the Macedonians who seemed not to be able to cope with it fully yet still trying to show their never say die attitude. The Croatians pulled away in the end winning by three to top the group. Kiril Lazarov was the top scorer for the Macedonians with seven goals and Cupic was the most active on the score sheet for Croatia with nine goals.