Stockholm (dpa) - Old master Domagoj Duvnjak has led Croatia into the final of the European Handball Championship for the third time and deprived his future Kiel club colleague Sander Sagosen of the chance to win the first title with Norway.

The 31-year-old backspace player from the German record champions was the best thrower for the second place in the 2008 and 2010 European Championship at 29:28 (26:26, 23:23, 12:10) after two extra times in the semi-final against the Scandinavians with eight goals.

Sagosen even met ten times in front of 16,733 spectators in Stockholm on Friday, but again missed the chance for gold with the World Cup runner-up in 2017 and 2019. Croatia's final opponent was subsequently determined between defending champion Spain and Slovenia.

The Croatians owned the first half because they were well prepared for sagos. The backcourt player, who moved from Paris Saint-Germain to THW Kiel in the summer, scored four goals in the early stages, but didn't score until the break. Croatia appeared to be a more closed team and always came to a conclusion, especially through circular runner Marino Maric (6 goals) from Bundesliga club MT Melsungen.

After the change, an open exchange of blows developed in which the future club colleagues Duvnjak and Sagosen were the protagonists. Zeljko Musa from SC Magdeburg set the end of the gripping game over 80 minutes a few seconds before the end.

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