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France win and go top of the table

Macedonia - France 25:27 (13:15)

France have added another victory to their long list with the defeat of Macedonia in Skopje, taking two points that put them in a strong position to book their ticket to Poland when they face Macedonia again on Sunday. Macedonia knew they would have to be better than their best to beat France - and their performance on Wednesday was not enough to win against the current world, Olympic and European champions, but they pushed the French until the final whistle. Macedonia took a while to find their shooting arms, missing several shots early on while France created a narrow lead.

When high-scoring Kiril Lazarov (eight goals) found his form however, the hosts quickly caught up and the rest of the match saw a superb display from both sides. When France lead at half-time it is always a bad sign for their opponents, so when the visitors held a two-goal advantage at the break Macedonia knew they would have to work hard to keep pace. France always maintained an edge, entering the final ten minutes with a three-goal lead (23:26) and finishing the match two goals ahead. France demonstrated the outstanding depth of their squad with the victory, with almost every player on the court scoring more than one goal and contributing to their trademark defence. Michael Guigou was the victor's highest scorer with six goals.