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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 2/1/2015

France became the 2015 World Champions with a historic win over tournament hosts Qatar in an atmospheric Lusail Multipurpose Hall. 

The European and Olympic champion side now add the title of World Champions to their current list, repeating their feat of holding all three major handball titles simultaneously. 

Qatar-France 22:25 (11:14)

It was Qatar who scored first, followed by a penalty save from goalkeeper Goran Stojanovic, indicating it was not going to be the easy win for France as some may have predicted. 

Right back Alix Nyokas was the first to score for France, beginning his run of strong breakthroughs off Nikola Karabatic passes. 

Nikola Karabatic’s first goal gave France the two-goal lead they held for the first fifteen minutes of the game. 

At this point Qatar’s Hassan Mabrouk had already received two two minute suspensions, putting him in a dangerous position with 45 minutes yet to play. 

Daniel Narcisse was in top form, scoring spectacular goals to put three on the board for France by the 20th minute (6:10), while Thierry Omeyer became progressively more of a threat to the Qatari attack. 

With ten minutes left in the half France had created a four-goal advantage (7:11) led by Narcisse, Nikola Karabatic, Nyokas and Michael Guigou, who all recorded a three-goal tally beside their name at this stage. 

Rafael Capote and Zarko Markovic were taking most of Qatar’s responsibility at the other end of the court, each scoring four of the home side’s 11 goals in the first half. 

France took a three-goal lead into the break, but it was Qatar who came out stronger when the second half began. 

The hosts scored two quick breakthroughs to put them just one behind their opponents. France did not take long to respond, also scoring two consecutive goals to maintain the three-goal advantage.

Things got a little close for comfort for France around the 40 minute mark, when a series of Qatari goals coupled with a two minute suspension for Cedric Sorhaindo enabled Qatar to come within one goal (17:18). 

Qatar’s more agile defence troubled the French, but Xavier Barachet, who stepped on the court for the first time in the second half, scored two goals in succession to keep his side ahead.

At the 45th minute, France held a narrow one-goal lead (19:20) and tension was high throughout the arena. 

By the 50th minute however, heroic saves from Omeyer and fast-paced counter attacks helped France create a three-goal advantage (19:22), which they retained as the clock ticked into the final five minutes (21:24). 

A tense few minutes followed, but when Narcisse scored a breakthrough shot in the 58th to keep France’s lead at three (22:25) and Omeyer made an important save in the next Qatari attack, the European side began to see the glint of the trophy. 

When France had possession with 15 seconds left, it was all over, and the side added yet another trophy to their cabinet.