Co-favorite France won the opening game of the Handball World Championship in Poland and Sweden. The French selection around Nikola Karabatic prevailed against the Polish co-hosts with 26:24 (14:13) and secured two important points in the duel of group B favorites.
In the first of a total of 112 World Cup games, France – potential opponents in the quarter-finals for the German team – was unable to break away from the start. The motivated hosts always had an answer in front of around 10,000 fans in Katowice. After a four-goal deficit in the meantime, Poland came within one goal by half-time.
After the break, France continued to struggle to take control of the game. The strong Adam Morawski in goal kept the 2015 World Cup third in the game with a few saves. In the last ten minutes, the Olympic champion was able to break away again and ultimately bring the lead to the finish. The most successful French thrower was Dika Mem with six goals, nine-time World Cup participant Karabatic remained without a goal.
Poland, which is playing with the four Bundesliga legionnaires Bartlomiej Bis (HSC 2000 Coburg), Maciej Gebala (DHfK Leipzig), Piotr Chrapkowski (SC Magdeburg) and Adam Morawski (MT Melsungen), scores in its second preliminary round game on Saturday (8:30 p.m.) on Slovenia. The French (6 p.m.) play against Saudi Arabia beforehand.