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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | TEAM HANDBALL

Sweden Keeps Going but France Gets Upset

August 03, 1996|Times Wire Services

Sweden reached the gold-medal match in men's team handball, rallying to beat Spain, 25-20, to remain unbeaten in the tournament.

Pierre Thorsson had seven goals on only eight shots for Sweden, which will meet Croatia on Sunday. Patrik Cavar scored eight goals in Croatia's 24-20 upset of world-champion France.

Spain took a 12-10 lead over Sweden on goals by Aitor Etxaburu and Salvador Esquer late in the first half. Sweden took the lead for good, 14-13, with 25 minutes to play on Stefan Lofgren's goal and then pulled away.

In the other semifinal, Croatia gained a 12-8 first-half advantage but France came back to make it 16-16 with 14:58 to play.

Croatia got two goals each from Cavar, who leads the tournament with 48, and Iztok Puc to go ahead by four, and France could get no closer.

Meanwhile, the U.S. team ended the Games on a roll.

After leading the squad to its first victory at the games in 12 years in its previous outing, Dave DeGraaf scored the winning goal after a penalty as time expired in the second overtime to beat Algeria, 27-26, leaving the U.S. men in ninth place, matching their best Olympic finish since 1984.

In other matches, Germany topped Switzerland, 23-16, for seventh place and Brazil beat Kuwait, 31-25, for 11th.

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