Handball World Cup: the Blues qualified for the quarterfinals after their victory against Portugal

They haven’t always been fantastic since the start of the competition. They are scary sometimes and are surely not as domineering as before. But the Blues are still qualified for the quarterfinals of the World Championship which takes place in Egypt. The French team has always been at this level in a World Cup since … 1993.

The France team is therefore in its place while waiting to know its opponent for the roller coaster scheduled for Wednesday, January 27. It will be against the European champion Spain or Hungary, which oppose this Monday. “Hungary or Spain against us in the quarter-finals, it’s either the European champion or Hungary who really made enormous progress, who have rotations, good young people. We will follow the match closely on Monday and we will prepare slowly, ”said captain Michaël Guigou.

Guillaume Gille’s team, given the doubts before the start of the tournament, has not yet missed its World Cup. She will have fully succeeded if she goes to the semi-finals, and more if there is any affinity …

This Sunday against Portugal to complete the main round, it would have taken a cataclysm to prevent the French from continuing the World Cup. To put it simply, the match had to be lost with a 7-goal margin. This did not happen and if the French are qualified, Portugal, which absolutely had to win, is eliminated. This defeat is the greatest happiness of Norway who was waiting for a setback from the Lusitanians to release the champagne and celebrate its qualification.

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Their best match at the World Cup

Executioners of the Blues a year ago during the last European Championship, the Portuguese, as was to be expected, did not make the task simple. But the Blues were well inspired, more in any case than in their last two games against Switzerland and Algeria. With the powerful arm of Dika Mem, the vista of Timothey N’Guessan back in the group and an almost impermeable defense with an effective Vincent Gérard, the French returned to half-time with 4 goals ahead (12-16 ). To get them out of the tournament with a big kick to the buttocks, the Portuguese had to win the second half with an 11-goal margin. Obviously impossible.

The France team therefore managed the last 30 minutes of the game less intense than the first 30. The gap between the two nations has long remained around 4 goals in favor of the Blues. Until Hugo Descat multiplies the goals and increases the lead of the Blues who no longer trembled. No doubt they have managed their best match since the start of the World Cup. “” It’s a great success compared to our course and our start of the adventure in January, a little chaotic and a little complicated, confides Guillaume Gille. But there is still a lot of work and great challenges ahead. The task will undoubtedly be even more difficult this week with the knockout matches coming up. The still undefeated French are hoping to play three: that will mean they play the final on Sunday. “I’m happy to see that the work pays off and that the performance of tonight added to that against Norway at the start of the course are very beautiful images of our team and we hope to be able to continue to present this form and this level of performance” Gille continues. No doubt the Blues are starting to really believe it.

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FRANCE – PORTUGAL: 32-23 (16-12)

Referees: MM. Gubica et Milosevic (Cro.)

FRANCE: Guigou (3 goals including 1 pen.), L. Karabatic, Lagarde (3), Mahé (1), Mem (5), N’Guessan (6), Descat (8), Remili (2), Fabregas ( 1), Tournat (1), Richardson (2). Entr. : Gille.