Spain suffers, but beats the Czech Republic at the start of the European Handball Championship

The Spanish handball team, winner of the last two European, started his career in the European Championship in Hungary and Slovakia with a long-suffering victory, after winning this Thursday by 28-26 to the Czech Republic, in a meeting in which the Hispanics they insisted on crashing with the Czech goalkeeper Tomas Mrkva.

A lack of efficiency that little by little was overshadowing the good defensive work of the Spanish team, which despite the generational change in which it is immersed in this lathe, once again demonstrated that it has a solid defense.

It seems that something else is going to cost, apparently before the Czech Republic, the transition in attack, despite the touches of hope left by both Ian Tarrafeta and Agustín Casado, the new managers of the Spanish team's game.

But as always the Spanish coach stands out Jordi Ribera the arrival of new players will not only test the talent of young newcomers, but will force veterans to step up.

just like they did Eduardo Gurbindo and Antonio Garcia, which was hidden many times in previous championships before the brilliance of the Raúl Entrerríos, Julen Aginagalde or Dani Sarmiento, They showed their leadership by throwing the team on their backs in decisive moments.

In particular, an Antonio García who with his goals in the final minutes allowed Spain to rise with a victory (28-26) that should serve the Hispanics as the point so as not to stop growing.

Knowing the importance of start the tournament with a victory The Spanish team did not hesitate to appeal from the beginning to its best weapon, defensive intensity, the pillar on which the recent successes of the "Hispanics" have been based.

A job in which the couple that formed the axis of defense Gedeón Guardiola and Iñaki Peciña shone, one of the five debutants that Spain presents in this European Championship, which showed that it can be a relay of guarantees for the long-awaited Viran Morros.

In fact, the defense was in charge of supporting the starting minutes of a match, in which Jordi Ribera's men showed that if the generational change has not diminished their defensive strength, the transition in attack will require a little more time.

Without the fluidity necessary to get the ball ahead to their wingers and pivots, the Spanish team's attack was reduced to long shots by Antonio García and Jorge Maqueda, who crashed again and again with an inspired Thomas Mrkva, who after eight minutes of play already accounted for five stops.

A circumstance that allowed the Czech Republic to acquire a two-goal advantage (2-4), that if in previous championships it had been considered an anecdote, this time it tested the mental strength of the renewed Spanish team.

But Spain can always rely on its defense, which its intensity went up a notch to definitively drown out the attack of the Czech Republic, which took more than six minutes to score again.

A defensive solidity that allowed the Hispanics to completely turn the score around with a partial 4-0 which placed Jordi Ribera's men with a two-goal advantage (6-4) after the halfway point in the first half.

Improvement that little by little was also moving to the attack, where the young central Ian Tarrafeta He left again, as with a beautiful feint or an extraordinary pass to the pivot, samples of the enormous talent and, above all, of the great future that awaits him in the national team.

A step forward from Tarrafeta who found his best partner in a Eduardo Gurbindo, who not only once again demonstrated his intelligence to know what the game requires at all times, but also revealed himself as an accurate scorer with the three goals he scored in the first quarter.

With Tarrafeta and Gurbindo invigorating the offensive game, the Spanish team gave a new boost to the scoreboard, taking advantage of the exclusions of Stanislav Kasparek and Vaclav Franc to place themselves with a maximum income of four goals 12-8, which remained at three (14-11) when the break came.

A break that could not sit better to the Czech goalkeeper Thomas Mrkva, that next season he will play in the almighty German Kiel, which, as happened at the beginning of the contest, was responsible for frustrating the Spanish players with his stops.

If in the first part the Czech goalkeeper showed his solvency against long shots, in the second he showed his effectiveness at shots from six meters, accounting for up to six interventions in the first ten minutes of the second quarter.

Fact that reduced the advantage of the Spanish team just two goals away (17-15) condemning Jordi Ribera's men to a much tougher match than expected against an increasingly grown Czech Republic with the saves of their goalkeeper.

In fact, only Gurbindo, who added another three goals in the second half, He seemed capable of beating the Czech goalkeeper, as was shown when the Navarrese winger had to leave the court to take a breather.

Without Eduardo Gurbindo the Spanish attack returned to lack a finisher, even with two and three more players, like the ones he had at times, due to the exclusions of an increasingly aggressive Czech team in defense.

Offensive problems that allowed the Central European team to be just one goal away (21-20) with less than ten minutes left before Spain started with a man less due to the exclusion of Inaki Pecina.

Moment of truth in which another of the debutants in the tournament broke in, the center-back Agustin Married, who with two almost consecutive goals (24-21) seemed to give air to the Spanish team, although if there was a protagonist in the final minutes that was the veteran Antonio García, who with his final goals ensured the victory (28-26) of the team Spanish.

Data sheet:

28- Spain: Perez de Vargas (1); Aleix Gómez (4, 3p), Maqueda (2), Gedeón Guardiola (-), Peciña (-), Antonio García (3) and Ángel Fernández (3) -initial team- Corrales (ps), Gurbindo (6), Solé (2), Figueras (3), Cañellas (1), Casado (2), Ariño (), Tarrafeta (1) and Sánchez-Migallón ()

26 - Czech Republic: Mrkva; Jurka (1), Kasparek (3), Babak (5), Becvar (1), Hrstka (6, 3p) and Reichl (3) -initial team- Mizera (ps), Piroch (2), Cip (1), Petrovsky (2), Vanco (-), Klima (-), Patzel (1), Solak (1) and Franc (-)

Marker every five minutes: 1-1, 2-4, 5-4, 9-7, 12-9 and 14-11 (Break) 15-13, 17-15, 20-16, 21-19, 25-22 and 28-26 ( Final)

referees: Pavicevic and Raznatovic (MNE). They excluded Cañellas and Peciña for Spain for two minutes; and Kasparek (2), Franc, Petrovsky, Becvar, Patzel and Solak for the Czech Republic.

Incidents: Meeting corresponding to the first day of group E of the first phase of the European Championship in Hungary and Slovakia held at the Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava.


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