For the third time in a row, Spain will dispute the final of European Handball, the sixth in its history. They did their homework Hispanic before Slovenia (34-32) and they meet again Croatia this Sunday in the Stockholm final (16.30), now with the title at stake. A date with the gold that leads directly to Tokyo, to the Olympic Games this summer, without having to go through a Pre-Olympic.
Spain will have occasion to rewrite history of the European: since the edition of 2002 (Sweden) No selection has been able to revalidate continental gold. The players of Jordi Ribera, in a moment of sweet form and mood, your fourth consecutive European medal will be hung, after the bronze of 2014, the silver of 2016 and the gold of 2018.
End very suffered
After reaching a maximum income of 6 goals at the start of the second half (23-17), Spain ended up suffering from being 33-32 in the absence of a minute
In the semifinal, the Spanish team provided a delicious first time, of the best played of this tournament. Although he started towing for the initial 0-2 of the giant Blagotinsek, master and lord of the 6 meters, he remade himself with speed and adjusting his 6: 0 defense. The first arreón, a 4-1, allowed him to be 4-3 ahead at 9m30s.
Slovenia, with good circulation, from the hand of a gamer like Dean Bombac, the intimidation of the huge pivot and the speed of the extreme Blaz janc –Many signing has made the Barça-, remained stuck to Spain on the scoreboard until 8-8 from Kodrin.
they were picking up speed, forcing recoveries and with them, launching the backlash, to deliver the first whiplash: a 3-0with goals from Maqueda and double of Raúl Entrerríos –Brutal his championship– to open the first serious advantage, the 11-8 at 18m42. Vranjes He asked for time to cut the sangria.
Showing off the variety of resources which has exhibited throughout the European, Spain began to mark its territory to Slovenes before the break, which came with a maximum income of +5 (20-15). One fact summed up the game: 2 losses of Spain for 9 of Slovenia. The pressing 6: 0 of riverbank It took effect, shorted the Balkan circulation and allowed the kickback.
Raúl Entrerríos, in his last European, is at a very high level: he was designated MVP of the game with his 6 goals in 10 pitches, and his leadership
In the resumption, Spain could not afford to lower its guard. riverbank he insisted on speed by turning around with the entrance of Aleix Gomez, with what the arrow show between Sabadell’s, his future companion Janc Y Fernandez It was already complete. The Blaugrana brought the rent to +6 (21-15), but Spain had not done it. In a seen and unseen, Slovenia reduced the rent to 3 goals (26-23) with the success of also Blaugrana Dolenec Y Bombac, taking advantage of the exchange of blows that kept them in the game.
Upon entering the last 10 minutes, Spain appeared with 4 goals for rent (29-25). riverbank tried to maintain the advantage with Alex Dujshebaev in the advanced 5: 1, to hinder Slovenian circulation and avoid scares, as happened with Croatia. The play did not go well. Slovenia dealt a 0-3 Y approached 2 goals (32-30) in the absence of 3 minutes. The technician of Sarrià de Ter asked for dead time. The fear grew at times with him 33-32 from Dolenec, in the absence of 1 minute. It was heart attack. But Spain did not shrink. He did not fail in the last attack and in the absence of 13 seconds, Alex Dujshebaev finished off with him 34-32.
The other finalist
Croatia, in its third final with suspense (28-29)
The other European 2020 finalist will be Croatia, who beat by 28-29 to Norway in an agonizing, thrilling duel, decided by the pivot Zeljko Musa in the absence of 3 seconds, after two extensions (23-23 at the end of the 60 minutes, 26-26 after the first extension). The Balkans, who had taken the initiative on the scoreboard in the 80 minutes, asserted their non-combustible competitive gene to break a Nordic team that lived off the cannon shots of Sagosen (10 of 16). The Croatians had not reached the European final, from Austria’2010, against France (21-25). The two finals they played lost them; the other, in 2008, against Denmark.
Spain, 34 – Slovenia, 32
Spain: Pérez de Vargas, Ferran Solé (3), Álex Dujshebaev (5), Entrerríos (6), Cañellas, Ariño, Aginagalde (2); Sarmiento (3), Maqueda (2), Ángel Fernández (6), Viran Morros (1), Guardiola (2), Aleix Gómez (4).
Slovenia: Ferlin, Bombac (2), Cingesar (4), Mackovsek (3), Blagotinsek (5), Dolenec (7), Janc (6); Henigman (1), Kodrin (1), Zarabec (2), Zabic, Cehte (1), Kastelic (ps).
Referees: Horacek and Novotny (Czech Rep.). They excluded Raúl Entrerríos, Guardiola and Cañellas, for Spain; and to Dolenec, Mackovsek, Cehte and Vranjes (technical), for Slovenia.
Partial: 1-2, 4-4, 7-7, 12-9, 16-13, 20-15 (rest); 22-16, 25-21, 27-23, 29-25, 32-28, 34-32.
Track: Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, about 15,000 spectators.