The Spanish men’s handball team will have to settle for fighting for the bronze medal in the World Cup in Poland and Sweden, after losing this Friday by 23-26 in view of Denmark in the semifinals, in which the “Hispanics” never found the way in attack.
An offensive thicket that did not prevent those of Jordi Ribera dreaming of being able to force “extension” after having less than a minute left to finish a penalty kick to reduce their deficit on the scoreboard to just a bit.
But then, like almost the entire match, the figure of the Danish goalkeeper emerged Niklas Landinwhich stopped the penalty shot by Ferrán Sole, keeping Spain out of the grand final, as already happened against this same rival in the semifinals of the 2021 World Cup in Egypt and the Tokyo Olympics.
Despite insisting over and over again in the previous day on the need to defend as never before to prevent Denmark from manage the pace of the gamethe Spanish team had a hard time adjusting their defensive framework.
Especially when it comes to controlling the pivot Magnus Saugstrupwho monopolized the Danish attack in the opening minutes, after scoring two goals and forcing a penalty shot.
A circumstance that required Jordi Ribera’s men to have to score in each of their attacks if they did not want to see a Nordic team escape on the scoreboard, which is handled like few others when matches become a goal exchange.
Quite the opposite of Spain, which shines brighter when the matches are settled by low markers and in which the defenses are clearly imposed on the attacks.
A scoring responsibility that did not take long to weigh on the Spanish team, which was unable to give flight to their offense by making the ball reach the players fluently. ends and pivots, he found himself forced to conclude each of his attacks with precipitous long throws.
A real gift for the Danish goalkeeper Niklas Landin who did not miss the misguided shots of the Spanish team to fatten a statistic, which after twenty minutes of play already had eight interventions for the Nordic goalkeeper.
Saves and more saves, some meritorious and the most quite simple, which allowed Denmark to reach fifteen minutes into the game with a four-point advantage (5-9) which forced the Spanish coach to urgently request a timeout.
A break that could not have been more beneficial for “Hispanics” than with the transition to a defense 5-1 and the presence of two pivots in attack seemed to rejoin the match, after being just a goal (10-11) behind the Nordic team with just over five minutes to go at halftime.
Time in which the Spanish team again incurred the same offensive problems, which Denmark did not miss, which did not seem to need the best version of its young stars Mathias Gidsel and Simon Pytlick, to close the first half with their maximum advantage (10-15).
A disadvantage that the Spanish team failed to reduce (15-20) at the start of the second half, despite the efforts of Alex Dujshebaev, who seemed to turn each attack by the “Hispanics” into a personal matter.
But neither did the Spanish team give up, which sought to cling to the smallest detail, whether it was a stop Gonzalo Perez de Vargas or a goal from the pivot Abel Serdioto believe in the possibility of a comeback.
In fact, Spain seemed in a position to be able question the Danish victory after being only two goals away (18-20) just past the halfway point of the second, after two good defenses.
A small comeback that led the Danish coach Nikolaj Jacobsen to bet on an attack with seven outfield players, which only served for Jordi Ribera’s men to further adjust the score (20-21) with less than ten minutes to go.
But an untimely exclusion of Kauldi Odriozola prevented the “Hispanics” from completing their reaction, being forced to try the impossible, after entering the last seven minutes of the game with a three-goal deficit (20-23).
A script against which the Spanish team rebelled, which with everything lost, managed to push the Danish team to the limit after having a penalty shot to less than a minute to reduce their deficit to just one goal.
Possibility that was in charge of breaking Niklas Landin, who closed the clash with 45 percent saves, by stopping the launch of Ferran Sole, definitively condemning the Spanish team to the fight for the bronze medal.
23 – Spain: Perez de Vargas (1); Solé (4, 3p), Maqueda (-), Gideón Guardiola (-), Peciña (-), Cañellas (2) and Ángel Fernández (3) -initial team- Corrales (ps), Alex Dujshebaev (5), Figueras ( 1), Serdio (3), Casado (-), Valera (1), Sánchez-Migallón (1), Dani Dujshebaev (1) and Odriozola (1)
26 – Denmark: Niklas Landin; Kirkelokke (1), Gidsel (3), Mikkel Hansen (4, 2p), Pytlick (6), Magnus Landin (2) and Saugstrup (5) -initial team- Moller (ps), Jakobsen (3), Lauge (- ), Mollgaard (-), Mensah (-), Jorgensen (1), Johan Hansen (-), Holm (-) and Hald (1)
Scoreboard every five minutes: 3-3, 4-7, 5-9, 7-10, 10-12 and 10-15 (Rest) 13-17, 15-20, 17-20, 20-21, 20-23 and 23-26 ( Final)
referees: Schulze and Tonnies (GER). They excluded Maqueda (2) and Odriozola for Spain by two minutes; and to Saugstrup, Magnus Landin and Kirkelokke for Denmark.
incidents: World Cup semifinal match between Poland and Sweden played at the ERGO Arena in Gdansk (Poland) in front of some 6,500 spectators.