Men's Handball - Egypt v Croatia - 2017 Men's World Championship Second Round, Eighth Finals - L'Arena, Montpellier, France - 22/01/17 - Croatia's Zeljko Musa (R) in action. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
CAIRO, Jan 23 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt have been eliminated from the 2017 IHF World Men's Handball Championship after losing 21-19 to Croatia in the round of 16 on Sunday night.
The Pharaohs started the game poorly as Croatia claimed a 13-7 lead at the half-time.
Despite an unimpressive display in the first half, Egypt improved greatly in the second half. The African champions managed to reduce the deficit to two goals less than eight minutes after the break, thanks to the heroics of Egypt's star Ahmed el-Ahmar.
The second-half comeback however wasn't enough, as Croatia, who claimed the bronze medal in the 2016 European Championship, managed to maintain their lead to qualify for the quarter-final with a close 21-19 victory over Egypt.
In the next stage, Croatia will face Spain, who claimed a 27-28 win over Brazil in the round of 16.
Egypt had qualified to the knockout stage after beating Qatar, Bahrain and Argentina in the group stage, and losing to Denmark and Sweden.