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France beats Qatar for 5th world handball title

February 1, 2015

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Handball giants France beat hosts Qatar 25-22 on Sunday to become world champions for the fifth time.

European and Olympic champions France relied on Nikola Karabatic’s five goals and two blocks to seal their superb win at Lusail Hall in the final of the World Handball Championships.

Daniel Narcisse and Valentin Porte scored four goals each as France completed a memorable win.

Xavier Barachet and Alix Nyokas scored three goals each for the champions.

Coached by Claude Onesta, France produced a tight defense, never allowing Qatar to take the lead in the one-hour clash.

Asian champions Qatar, coached by World Cup-winning Valero Rivera, trailed 11-14 at the end of the first half.

Represented by nine naturalized Qataris, the home team struggled up front despite star player Zarko Markovic, born in Montenegro, producing seven goals. Markovic’s teammate Rafael Capote, born in Cuba, scored six goals.

Poland upset 2013 world champions Spain with a hard-fought 29-28 win in the third-place playoff earlier Sunday.

Michal Szyba’s eight goals and Kamil Syprzak’s six strikes powered Poland to their win.

Update hourly