The Spanish team began the ‘Golden League’, one of the most prestigious tournaments, with a resounding victory (39-28) over the Netherlands, in a match that led to the brothers’ international debut. Djordje and Petar Cikusa17 years old, who ended their debut with four goals each.
A sign that age is nothing more than a number for the coach Jordi Riberawho has no qualms about mixing veterans like the pivot Gedeon Guardiolawhich turned 39 last October, with teenagers like the Cikusa.
In fact, right back Djordje, who entered the court 23 minutes into the game, became the youngest player to debut for the “Hispanos” in the last four decades, with 17 years, 10 months and 22 days.
His twin brother, center back Petar, had to wait a little longer to play his first minutes as a full international, replacing him at the start of the second half. Agustín Casado as game director of the Spanish team.
Petar Cikusa barely took a few seconds to demonstrate the audacity that has turned the Barça player into one of the strongest promises of Spanish handball.
As soon as he entered the court, the young Spanish centre-back destroyed his pair with a electric one on one action, one of his specialties, and seconds later he made clear his ability to throw one or two steps with a spectacular hip strike.
Clinging to the enthusiasm of the very young centre-back, author of four goals and one assist In its first fifteen minutes, the Spanish team achieved what it could not do in the entire first half, separating itself from the Dutch team.
As reflected by the five goals advantage (30-25) with which Jordi Ribera’s men stood after halfway through a second period in which they showed the defensive solidity that they lacked in the first half.
A circumstance that allowed the “Hispanics” to put an end to the connections with the pivotsespecially in transition, which had caused so many problems in the first thirty minutes, which ended with a tie (19-19).
Spain only conceded 9 goals to the Dutch team in the second half (39-28), largely thanks to the outstanding performance of the goalkeeper Sergey Hernandezwho with his interventions joined the Cikusa brothers’ party.
Djordje and Petar Cikusa who made it clear that despite their 17 years Jordi Ribera has not been wrong to give them the alternative in a tournament in which they will have the opportunity to show their talent against some of the best teams in the world, such as the danish team, current world champion, whom the “Hispanos” will face next Saturday (2:15 p.m.).
39 – Spain: Perez De Vargas; Aleix Gómez (2), Garciandia (3), Dani Dujshebaev (2), Peciña (1), Casado (2) and Ángel Fernández (4) -starting team- Sergey Hernández (ps), Solé (4), Figueras (6 ), Gedeón Guardiola (2), Sánchez-Migallón (-), Chema Márquez (1), Odriozola (1), Dani Fernández (2), Gurri (1), Djordje Cikusa (4) and Petar Cikusa (4)
28 – Netherlands: Ravensbergen; Schagen (2), Niels Versteijnen (2), Steins (4), Stavast (3), Ten Velde (3) and Kooij (3) -starting team- Arjan Versteijnen (ps), Blaauw (-), Schoenaker (-) , Kooijman (-), Geenen (-), Jorn Smits (3), Smit (1), Claessens (1), Kay Smits (5, 2p) and Houtepen (1)
Marker every five minutes: 3-3, 6-6, 10-8, 11-11, 15-14 and 19-19 (Rest) 24-22, 27-23, 29-25, 33-27, 36-27 and 39-28 ( Final)
Referees: Kleven and Jorum (NOR). Gedeón Guardiola and Sánchez-Migallón were excluded for two minutes for Spain; and to Kooij, Claessens and Schoenaker for the Netherlands.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the first day of the Golden League played at the Sotra Arena in Straume (Norway).