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Croatia wins handball opener

Aug. 10, 2008, 1:01 p.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Defending Olympic champion Croatia held off Spain 31-29 Sunday in the opening game of Olympic men's handball.

Croatia led 16-11 at halftime, but Spain rallied to tie the game at 29 in the closing minutes. Igor Vori scored in the 58th minute, then Domagoj Duvnjak scored in the final minute to seal the win for the Croatians.

Germany, the 2007 world champion, defeated South Korea 27-23. The score was tied at 19 before Florian Kehrmann scored three of his four goals in the final five minutes to give the Germans a decisive boost.

Iceland defeated 2004 bronze medalist Russia 33-31, aided by Snorri Steinn Gudjonsson, who scored on all 12 of his shots1.

France defeated Brazil 34-26 after leading 19-11 at halftime. Olivier Girault scored seven goals in eight attempts.

Poland dominated host China 33-19. Poland led 21-10 at halftime, and led by as many as 16 points in the second half.

Denmark and Egypt tied at 23 in the nightcap. Ahmed El Ahmar scored to give Egypt a 23-22 lead in the final minute, and Lars Rosylng Christiansen answered for Denmark.