The French team emerges undefeated from the preliminary round of the World Championship.
After two first victories against Poland (26-24) then Saudi Arabia (41-23), the Blues beat Slovenia on Monday evening (35-31).
Not everything was simple or perfect, especially in the first half, but the Habs continued their flawless performance and that's what counts.
Before kick-off, they had already qualified for the main round of the tournament.
HALF-TIME 🇸🇮 14 - 16 🇫🇷
The BLUEs lead at the break!
There are 30 minutes left to finish the preliminary round in the best way ⏰ ALLEZ
LES BLEUS 🔵⚪🔴#BleuetFier pic.twitter.com/kLFkWBkJDv
– French Handball Teams (@FRAHandball) January 16, 2023
In a formula always (too) convoluted, the Olympic champions will now face Iran, Montenegro and especially Spain in Krakow.
At the end of this second group stage for which they will leave with the maximum points and barring an unthinkable industrial disaster, there is no doubt that Nikola Karabatic's partners will qualify for the quarter-finals.
The challenge is to get there in good conditions to come up against an opponent who is not yet too complicated.
For example the Netherlands or Serbia which seem to be two potential targets.
Avoiding Germany or Norway at this stage of the competition is, in any case, the objective of Guillaume Gille's players.
It will be time later to challenge Denmark or Sweden in the last four or even better in the final.
“We do not project ourselves so far, notes captain Luka Karabatic at the microphone of BeINSport.
We are moving forward match by match to solidify our team.
On such a long formula, you first have to stay in shape.
“To make the task as easy as possible, there is only one solution: to remain undefeated and to approach the rest of the tournament with the maximum number of points.
It's been done so far.
Without the Barcelonan Dika Mem suffering from a little muscle discomfort but with captain Luka Karabatic recovered from his lumbago, the Blues took time to get rid of the Slovenians.
At the break, France was not yet safe (16-14).
Fortunately, the steamroller started in the second half and everything went well.
After a first week of competition, the Blues are in the nails.
"This match against the Slovenians was a real test and we are well launched in this competition" rejoices the coach Guillaume Gille.
So far, everything is going well while waiting for news from Nedim Remili, who was released prematurely due to a little muscle discomfort.
But the worst has not yet happened.