Spain will fight for gold for the fourth consecutive edition after beating the world champion in a formidable second half
Eleven goals from Aleix Gómez and seven from Cañellas and the effectiveness of Pérez de Vargas ensure the medal
The Hispanics will fight for their third European handball consecutive. The Spanish team defeated its black beast this Friday in Budapest, a Denmark who ‘chosen’ a semifinal opponent and who fell to the knee in a superb second half of the jordi rivera (29-25). Eleven goals from Aleix Gómez and seven from Joan Cañellas commanded a triumph that also happened through the appearance of Gonzalo Perez de Vargas, which became giant in the second part. Spain will fight for gold on Sunday (6:00 p.m. 1) against the winner of the France-Sweden.
Nikolay Jacobsen, the temperamental Danish coach, will long regret Wednesday’s loss to France, which suspiciously came from four goals in five minutes. Denmark finished second in the group, which led them to face Spain, which last year he defeated in this same round in the World Cup and in the Olympics and with whom he had not lost since 2015. “It seems that Denmark chooses us to play the semifinals, they must see us as a more comfortable rival, but all games are different“, Ribera warned in the preview. And he was not without reason.
Without Solé or Hernández due to covid
The play went wrong for Denmark because the Hispanics rebelled against their arrogance. “You looked at the bookmakers before the final and they did not bode well for us“, highlighted Pérez de Vargas, one of the heroes of the final. Everything seemed to be against him, including the last minute casualties of Ferran Solé and Sergey Hernández due to covid. But the Hispanics knew how to channel all those circumstances and turn them into motivation. “It was brutal,” summed up the captain, Gideon Guardiola-. We played against big teams and showed that we are also great, although many times they do not take us into account“.
Spain was in tow throughout the first half. Need more than five minutes to score his first goal, another 5 for the second and the third did not arrive until after 14. A scoring rhythm that would have buried any chance of victory if it had not been for a good defense that caused many Danish losses and good actions by Pérez de Vargas, only overshadowed by a Niklas Landin imposing at startup.
“We have seen Landin very big”
“The important thing is to become aware that they are very good but that we are not bad. At the beginning we have seen Landin very big, but then we haven’t realized that goals can be scored against him”, analyzed after the victory a Cañellas who emerged when Spain was having the worst time, after, led by Michael Hansen, Denmark went up 5-9 and threatened to take off. But the central defender from Santa Maria de Palautordera bravely opened a gap in the heart of the Danish defence. the cunning of Aleix Gomez in defense and his lethality on the counterattack allowed a tight 13-14 at halftime.
Spain suffered in the first half, how not to do it against the winner of the last two World Cups? But he had been good on defense and good on offense, generating clear shots from 6 meters. Improving that effectiveness, victory was possible.
Gidsel fails and changes the script
After the break, it was Denmark that needed several minutes to score. Mathias Gidsel, who had scored 37 of his 38 shots in the tournament, missed the 39th and that seemed to ratify the change in dynamics. Pérez de Vargas stopped, Cañellas led and Aleix scored. Spain took a two-goal lead with 20 minutes remaining and would no longer give up the initiative. Each player contributed their grain of sand: Figueras, Peciño, Casado… Paddling against the current was a new situation for the Scandinavian team that they were unable to overcome.
“We have shown that we can’t be taken for just anyone. Maybe we are not the best team, but without a doubt we are the best group and we have believed in our possibilities”, celebrated Pérez de Vargas. “It is very nice to be in the final and to do it by beating Denmark is a plus. We have beaten the best team in the championship and deservedly so”, stressed Cañellas, who did not hesitate to delve into the Danish wound: “We will not be as good nor will we be in the teams that they are, with their respective salaries, but we are good”.
Spain is already in the final, the fourth in a row. If it wins on Sunday, it would equal a milestone that only Sweden has achieved (1998, 2000 and 2022). “More than matching Sweden, the important thing for us is to stay up there. Players change, but we are still there. We are Family“, highlighted Pérez de Vargas.
Spain, 29 – Denmark, 25
Spain: Perez de Vargas; Aleix Gómez (11, 2p), Maqueda (2), Gedeón Guardiola (-), Peciña (-), Sánchez-Migallón (-) and Ángel Fernández (1) -initial team- Corrales (ps), Gurbindo (-), Sarmiento (-), Figueras (3), Cañellas (7), Casado (3), Ariño (1), Tarrafeta (1) and Odriozola.
Denmark: Niklas Landin; Svan (2), Gidsel (3), Lauge (2), Mikkel Hansen (8, 4p), Magnus Landin (4) and Saugstrup (3) -initial team- Moller (ps), Kirkelokke (-), Jakobsen (- ), Mollgaard (-), Mensah (1), Johan Hansen (-), Andersson (-), Holm (1) and Hald (1).
Marker every five minutes: 0-1, 2-3, 4-5, 5-8, 8-11 and 13-14 (rest); 15-15, 16-16, 21-19, 23-21, 25-23 and 29-25 (final)
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.