Advancing Towards the World Cup through a Victory against Croatia

Advancing Towards the World Cup through a Victory against Croatia

France beat Croatia (1-2) in its fourth match of the Elite qualifying round for the 2024 Futsal World Cup, Tuesday October 10 in Zagreb. She has taken a big step towards the final phase.

Five days after beating it in Laval (5-2), the French team did it again against Croatia in the Sports Hall Dom Sportova in Zagreb (1-2), Tuesday October 10 during its fourth match of the tour Elite qualifier for the final phase of the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup. Trailing from the 3rd minute, they equalized in the second half thanks to Mamadou S. Touré before winning at the last second with a goal from Souheil Mouhoudine.

France retains the lead in Group C but now has a margin of four points over Croatia. Its last two matches of the Elite round will pit it against Slovakia (Thursday December 14, 9:05 p.m. at Espace Mayenne in Laval) then against Germany (Wednesday December 20, in Dresden). A victory will be enough for him to validate his ticket to Uzbekistan, where the final phase will take place in a year.


Arthur Tchaptchet struck first to come up against Croatian goalkeeper Zoran Primic (1st), before Kristijan Postruzin’s reply saved by a save from Francis Lokoka (2nd). The first goal did not take long, on a powerful full-axis pivoting shot from Antonio Sekulic (3rd). Under constant pressure, the Blues tried to come back from a low free kick from Souheil Mouhoudine, knocked out of the knee by the goalkeeper (7th).

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They stayed in the match thanks to a reflex save from Lokoka on an off-center shot from Dario Marinovic (9th). Mouhoudine on the other hand lost a face to face with Primic, author of another save in the process (14th), before Lokoka remained vigilant on a close attempt from Luka Peric (18th).

The Croats started the second half at the same pace as the first, a flight from Lokoka diverting a good shot from Sekulic (23rd). But they suffered the French equalizer on a low cross from Nicolas Menendez, passed between the legs of a defender to find Mamadou S. Touré at the conclusion from close range (24th).

Well offset by Touré, Sid Belhaj came up against Primic (26th), like Touré five minutes later (31st), before Lokoka highlighted a powerful shot from his counterpart, who had not been hampered in his rise (31st). A pivoting shot from Steve Bendali was barely repelled by Primic (34th), keeping his team afloat by tackling Touré who was heading towards goal then lying on a recovery from the other Mamadou Touré of the Blues, served by the same name (36th ).

Playing their all in power play in the last two minutes, the Croats had an opportunity through Marinovic, released by Lokoka (38th). But only to be punished one second from the final whistle on an interception by Mouhoudine, still lucid to slide the ball into the empty goal from his own half (40th).


Tuesday, October 10, 2023 in Zagreb (Sports Hall Dom Sportova) – Group C of the Elite Round of qualification for the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup

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Croatia – France 1-2 (1-0)

Referees: Telmen Undrakh (North), Dag Erik Tangvik (North), Christian Gundler (All), Nikola Jelićc (Cro, stopwatch).
Buts : Antonio Sekulic (3rd) for Croatia; Mamadou S. Touré (24th), Souheill Mouhoudine (40th) for France.
Warnings: Marko Kuraja (7th), David Mataja (10th), Kristijan Postruzin (10th), Zoran Primic (26th) for Croatia; Souheil Mouhoudine (7th), Nelson Lutin (10th) for France.

Starting five: Zoran Primic (g), Kristian Cekol, Franko Jelovcic, Luka Peric, Kristijan Postruzin.
Banc : Ante Piplica (g), Mateo Muzar, Duje Kustura, Niko Vukmir, Dario Marinovic (cap), Josip Jurlina, David Mataja, Marko Kuraja, Antonio Sekulic.
Selector: Marinko Mavrovic.

Starting five: Francis Lokoka (l) – Arthur Tchaptchet, Ouassini Guirio, Michael De Sa Andrade, Souheil Mouhoudine.
Banc : Louis Marquet (l), Sid Belhaj (cap), Mamadou Touré, Ronny Zakehi, Ayoub Saadaoui, Nelson Lutin, Mamadou S. Touré, Nicolas Menendez, Steve Bendali.
Selector: Raphaël Reynaud


245e match in the history of the Blues (104 victories, 35 draws, 106 defeats).
9 confrontations with Croatia, 4 French successes, 1 draw, 4 defeats (25 bp, 30 bc).
119 selections for Sid Belhaj, the most capped French player in activity.
29 meetings by Raphaël Reynaud (21 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses)

Group C results, standings and schedule

Saturday September 16, 2023

Wednesday September 20, 2023

Thursday October 5, 2023

Monday October 9, 2023

Slovakia – Germany 4-3

Tuesday October 10, 2023

Croatia – France 1-2

Ranking : 1. France, 10 points (+8); 2. Croatia, 6 pts (+5); 3. Slovakia, 4 pts (- 4); 4. Germany, 3 pts (- 8)

Thursday December 14, 2023

  • France – Slovakia (9:05 p.m., at Espace Mayenne in Laval)
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Wednesday December 20, 2023

  • Germany – France (in Dresden)
  • Slovakia – Croatia

The first from each of the five groups qualified for the final phase (September 14 to October 6, 2024 in Uzbekistan), the four best runners-up in the play-offs (draw on Thursday, January 25, 2024 in Nyon, round-trip matches between 8 and 17 April 2024).