Men's Final 8 are set.
On the last day of group play, Group A Tunisia came through with a 25-23 victory over Argentina. The win propelled Tunisia to a quarterfinal berth, sending the sole PATH representative back home. This is Tunisia’s third appearance in Olympic handball.
In the other match with a quarterfinal repercussion, Serbia blew a 2 goal lead in the closing 16 minutes, opening the door for a Hungary come from behind victory and a quarterfinal spot. Serbia, European Championship runner up earlier this year, leaves the Olympics on a sour note thoroughly under performing.
Team GB and South Korea both exited the tournament winless.
Iceland showed no mercy as it poured in 41 on Great Britain, for a categorical 41:24 win.
Denmark, appeared to have had a tougher time in their 26:24 win over South Korea only because the European Champ was throttling its engine ahead of Thursday’s quarterfinal round.
Croatia and France each concluded group play with wins as both head into the quarters as heavy favorites to reach the finals, despite Iceland’s 1st place finish in Group A.
Here is how the last day of group play ended:
Looking ahead to Thursday’s quarterfinals, the pairings couldn't have been more favorable to the top ranked teams.
Iceland will meet Hungary in what should be a physical contest. Don't be fooled by Iceland's 5 and 0 record in group play. Hungary is very much a "dark horse" (although not a USATH approved "dark horse") so an upset is quite likely. Iceland is the favorite but this one has the makings of an upset.
Sweden and Denmark looks to be a lopsided contest very much favoring the Danes. But, the Danes had to work harder for their 2 place finish in Group B, thus an upset by Sweden is not out of the question. Still, on paper, Denmark is a heavy favorite.
Spain and France should entertain as both teams have an appetite and flair for the dramatic. May very well be the best match of the day in terms of handball quality. France appears to have found its stride, following an atrocious European Championship campaign. Karabatic and Omeyer will be the difference makers.
Croatia vs. Tunisia – will be the most lopsided contest of the Men’s Final 8. Croatia will cruise to an easy win and may even rest some players (Vori) ahead of the semifinal between either Spain or France.
This will be a lot fun!