France edges Croatia in men's handball

Aug. 14, 2008, 11:25 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) France beat Croatia 23-19 on Thursday, handing the defending Olympic men's handball champion its first loss of the Beijing Games.

It was France's closest game of the Olympics; the French had won their first two games by a combined 22 goals.

The score was tied at 18, but France scored five of the final six goals to improve to 3-0. Croatia dropped to 2-1.

Denmark's Mikkel Hansen scored in the final minute to beat Russia 25-24. It was Denmark's first win of the tournament, while the Russians dropped to 1-2.

Germany defeated Egypt 25-23. The game was tied at 23 before Michael Kraus and Dominik Klein scored in the final four minutes.

Germany improved to 2-1. Egypt, 0-2-1, has lost its last two games by a combined three goals.

Poland beat Brazil 28-25, after Bartosz Jurecki scored four goals in the last nine minutes to help his team pull away from a 22-22 tie.

In other games, South Korea defeated Iceland 22-21 - both teams are now 2-1 - and Spain beat China 36-22 to improve to 2-1.

The Spaniards outscored the Chinese 20-10 in the second half and made 36 of 49 shots. China has lost each of its three matches by 14 goals.