France and Montenegro each secured quarter-finals spots as knockout action began today at the Women's Handball World Championships in Germany.
France, seeking a first medals since the second of two successive silver medals in 2011, continued the strong form they showed in their final group match against Romania with a comfortable victory over Hungary.
They opened up a 14-11 lead at half-time in front of 1,385 spectators at the Arena Leipzig before maintaining their advantage.
France eventually prevailed 29-26 in what was a repeat of both the result and the three-point margin of victory from the 2003 final between the two countries.
France are the first quarter-finalists confirmed in Arena Leipzig! They defeat Hungary with the same three-goal score line created before half-time, recording a 29:26 win #germany2017 #simplywunderbar pic.twitter.com/j5838XZoxw— IHF (@ihf_info) December 10, 2017
Montenegro now lie in wait for France after winning their last 16 match today against neighbours Serbia.
The Montenegrans, chasing a first ever World Championship medal, led 14-9 at half-time in front of 3,011 fans in the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg.
Serbia kept fighting and reduced the deficit late on.
They could not close the gap completely, however, and fell to a 29-31 defeat.
Hosts Germany also crashed-out today after losing 21-17 to Denmark in Madgeburg.
Sweden now lie in wait for Denmark in the quarter-final after they defeated Slovenia 33-21 in Leipzig.
The remaining four last 16 matches are scheduled for tomorrow.