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France eases past Brazil at Beijing Olympic men's handball
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19:47, August 10, 2008

European powerhouse France eased past Brazil 34-26 in their first game at Beijing Olympic men's handball event here on Sunday.

Left wing Olivier Girault led the French team with seven points, while pivot Carlos Ertel grabbed five points to top Brazilian scoring list.

"I am very disappointed for today's game. We have already done a lot of training and preparations and we also had good performance in pre-Olympic warm-ups. We could have done better today," said 34-year-old Ertel.

"I don't buy it that the first game of a tournament is the hardest to play, but we did play a sloppy game today. France is a very seasoned team. They made good use of our turnovers," added the veteran in the post-match conference.

France made a solid start by leading a 5-1 run eight minutes into the first half. As the fourth placer in 2007 Word Championship, France constantly intercept the opponent's pass and scored from fast breaks. They extended their advantage to 19-11 at the interval.

In the second half, France sent several bench players into the court, but Brazil still found no chance to close the gap. The eight points deficit was kept until the end of the game.

"We know Brazil is a good team. They made great trouble to European teams in 2007 World Championship. I am satisfied with our players' performance, especially in the beginning of the match," said Claude Onesta, coach of France, whose team will take on host China in the next game.


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