So, today saw the end of the group stages and the end of the host nation’s 100% record. Spain lost 25:27 to Croatia (who maintained their own 100% record) in front of 10,000 in the Caja Magica in Madrid. Jakov Gojun was red-carded for the Croatians but two late goals from Igor Vori and Lovro Sprem saw them home after the Spaniards had led the match entering the final five minutes.
Over in Zaragoza two other 100%ers went head to head: Slovenia overturned a 30:27 deficit in the final five and a half minutes to emerge 33:30 winners and take top spot in the group.
The last two teams to progress were Belarus and Egypt. Belarus did it the easy way by overpowering Saudi Arabia in a match that was one-sided throughout. Egypt and Algeria contested the last spot through the medium of goal difference. Egypt did what they had to by beating Australia by 25 goals meaning their goal difference was 7 better than Algeria leaving the latter requiring an unlikely victory over Hungary (or draw to progress). They put in a brave performance but lost.
The results of the day were:
Belarus 33:15 Saudi Arabia; Poland 33:25 South Korea; Serbia 31:33 Slovenia
Egypt 39:14 Australia; Spain 25:27 Croatia; Hungary 29:26 Algeria
Which means that the Round of 16 draw for this section looks like:
Slovenia v Egypt
Croatia v Belarus
Hungary v Poland
Serbia v Spain
Ties to be played 21 January