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France outclass Spain at Beijing Olympic men's handball
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17:49, August 16, 2008

In-form France continued their all win record after outclassing spain 28-21 at the Beijing Olympic men's handball on Saturday.

"This game was not so decisive for the two teams because we both are heading to the quarterfinals. However, France took this game seriously. We have to prepare well for the coming quarterfinal clash and this game can be seen as a good chance to warm up," said French coach Claude Onesta.

The French side started the "indecisive" match with an 8-2 run, with their goalie Thierry Omeyer producing a series of impressive saves.

Although recognized as one of the best left backs in the world, Nikola Karabatic paced France as a center back in most of the time. His untraceable assists helped "Les bleus" lead 16-10 by the interval.

The Spanish squad came back strongly when the game resumed, scoring three unanswered goals to close the gap. But France charged a 4-0 surge to extend their margin. Throughout the last quarter France steadily controlled the game, still with Karabatic, the 2007 IHF World Player of the Year, in the driving seat.

"We've managed to improve our offense and defence in this match. We've taken some self-confidence from this. We knew our defence was good, and now we know our offense is good as well," said Karabatic, who netted in five points and created more clear chances for the teammates.

France is the only team that remains unbeaten at Beijing Olympic men's handball event.

Talking about the coming quarterfinals, coach Onesta said "we don't care who we are facing, and we only focus on the match itself. Of course we will not choose the opponent deliberately, but we will find out proper tactics to beat them. It is more important to keep the players' form than to think about the opponent."

Source: Xinhua

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5 Italy 6 5 4 15
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8 Russia 4 4 8 20
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