AFP

France down Norway to edge closer to second round

Defending champions France made it three wins in three when a 31-28 triumph over Norway edged them closer to second round of the world handball championships on Sunday.

Having already seen off Brazil 31-16 and Japan 31-19, man of the match Nikola Karabatic and Kentin Mahe hit five goals each for France while Magnus Jondal scored six for Norway.

"Nikola (Karabatic) scored some important goals. This is more than just about one man, though, all the guys played well. I’d say that we passed our first test," said France winger Michael Guigou.

Karabatic added: "This was almost a little final in the group given that they had beaten Russia and Poland. Now we must keep going like this."

In the other Group A match on Sunday, Brazil downed Japan 27-24.

In Group C, European champions Germany crushed Chile 35-14 with star player Uwe Gensheimer hitting four penalties and Rune Dahmke scoring seven goals from 11 shots.

Jannik Kohlbacher was the best scorer in the match with eight goals.

The only setback for Germany was an injury suffered by right wing Tobias Reichmann 15 minutes before the end. He twisted his ankle while landing after a shot.

"We sealed the deal and kept our focus high in defence and attack," said German pivot Patrick Wiencek.

"We could not expect that it would be an easy match like it was in the end. We hope that Tobias Reichmann will be OK."

In Pool B, Iceland and Tunisia drew 22-22. Amine Bannour hist 12 from 20 for the north Africans.

Qatar, the world runners-up to France on home court in 2015, defeated Gulf neighbours Bahrain 32-22 while Sweden claimed a second win of the week, beating Argentina 35-17.


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