Qatar downs Croatia 30-23
Qatar, making its Olympic debut, cruised past 2012 bronze medalist Croatia in the first round of play.
Qatar was the more efficient team during the entire game. Guided by Montenegrin-born Zarko Markovic, Qatar was the more efficient team on the fast break and in stealing. Croatia, meanwhile, failed to make the most of opportunities from penalties.
The Croatian inefficiency gave Qatar the space to open the game up in the first half, failing to convert on Qatari penalties. Danijel Saric had an impressive first half in the net, saving 50% of shots faced, including four of five penalties from the seven meter line. Meanwhile, Markovic took care of business on the attacking end, setting his finding his teammates in the gap. He finished the game with 10 goals.
Undeterred, Sweden was keen to match the quick German club, with both squads exploiting the wings. Jerry Tollbring kept the game close for Sweden during the match as he scored eight goals total.
Julius Kuhn was highly efficient for Germany, netting the ball highly efficient Julius Kuhn, who scored eight times in 10 attempts.
Both sides became increasingly physical as the match intensified in the second half. The German side, which was just preparing to recover after a two minute penalty, suffered an additional penalty after a right back collided with the Sweden winger. Sweden, down for nearly the entirety of the game, took full advantage of the opportunity to level the match midway thhrough the second half. But Sweden's focus dropped on each occcassion they leveled, gifting the Germans with enough fast breaks to clinch the win.
Denmark contains Argentina 25-19
Denmark had a tougher opponent that it hoped for in Sunday's action. Lifted by a lively crowd, Argentina was neck-and-neck with the Danes through the entire first half.
Argetnina was quick off the mark at a lively Future Arena, getting an early 5-2 advantage. Mikkel Hansen and Denmark quickly found their footing, using their superior athleticism to outmaneuver Argentina.
But it was Argentina's Federico Pizarro who showcased the greatest display of athleticism today. The Argentine was given a penalty throw at the end of the half. Faced by a wall comprised of the entire Danish side, Pizarro nearly broke his spine in half, bending to such a severe angle that he nearly landed back first on the floor before the ball found its way through the wall and into the net. Unfortunately for Pizarro and handball fans everywhere, though, the goal was ultimately discounted because his foot crossde the nine meter threshold before release.
Maik dos Santos made two clutch saves in the second half; one off the seven meter line and the other from behind the nine meter mark. The Brazilian keeper had enough good vision to pick off the Polish in transition and scored off an empty net.
Supporting the staunch defense were Joao da Silva and Lucas Candido. Separated by only a handful of moments, both Brazilian players scored on fast breaks after suffocating Poland's work up front.
Jose Guilherme de Toledo lead the scoring for Brazil, finding the back of the net eight times.
The Brazilians rushed to the sidelines of the court at the conclusion of the match in appreciation for their fans' good cheer.
France escapes Tunisia 25-23
Tunisia gave the two-time defending gold medalists all they could handle on Sunday night.
France, which boasts some of the world's best players including Nikola Karabatic, couldn't pull away from Tunisia as they had hoped to do entering the match. Much of that is to the efforts of the man in goal for Tunisia, Marouen Maggaiz, who saved 16 shots.
Tunisia opted for a physical strategy in an effort to contain the arsenal that French possesses, swarming any player who was in position to score. It worked.
The underdogs matched France shot-for-shot and even performed better from the six meter shine, shooting perfectly during those opportunities.
Tunisia had a chance to level in the 25th minute of the second half, but the French line held firm to force the turnover. Karabatic answered, exploiting the game in the middle on the opposite end.
It was Karabatic again who saw countryman Cedric Sorhaindo smothered by the Tunisian defense. In a heads up play, Karabatic passed his compatriot the ball who drew the two minute suspension. A block by keeper Thierry Omeyer on the other end sealed the deal for the French and sent the Tunisians packing.
Slovenia defeats Egypt 27-26 in closing seconds
These two small handball nations closed out the day's handball action. Newcomers Slovenia came out on top.
Not much separated these two sides for nearly the entire match.
Egypt, down 24-26 in the final three minutes of play, benefited from a costly two minute suspension from Slovenia. They were quick to seize on it, too. Following a converted penalty and clutch save from the Egyptian keeper, Mohamed Hesham Elbassiouny burst through the Slovenian opposition on the fast break to level it up with less than 60 seconds remaining.
Slovenia, on the second-to-last possession of the game, had a chance to close it out. After missing the first attempt on goal, Blaz Janc gave Slovenia the lead after scoring from the right wing. Janc, only 19 years of age, was a perfect eight-for-eight.
Egypt had one more opportunityto level it up on a freee throw with five seconds remaining, but were consumed by the Slovenians just outside the seven meter line.