Spain forced extra time at the last second and eliminated Norway in a second extra time that brings them to Denmark in the semifinals
The Spanish men's handball team got an epic ticket to the semifinals in the 2023 World Cup after eliminating Norway (34-35) with two extensions this Wednesday at the ERGO Arena in Gdansk (Poland), an appointment now with Denmark for continuing the streak of medals.
Jordi Ribera's men overcame a dramatic cross against a Norway that touched their revenge for the elimination in the previous World Cup and also in Tokyo 2020 at the hands of the Spanish. The 'Hispanics', on the podium in the last four major tournaments, demonstrated character, quality and the champion gene from generation to generation to win a monument to handball that Dani Dujshebaev saved at the last second to force the first overtime and which he fastened Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas with a final save.
From the beginning it was seen that the key to the medals was going to be expensive but, within the details and a fight without truce, the script became one of Hitchcock's. Spain was almost always in tow, from a bad start to the exchange of goals that did not falter in Norway. The loss of seven meters could be expensive, as was the effectiveness of the Nordic wingers.
Spain held on with the Dujshebaev brothers, the saves by Gonzalo, the 8/8 by Ángel Fernández and the blows also by Cañellas and Figueras. In addition, Ribera followed the script and modified the defense to 5:1 and the attack to a forward with two pivots that paid off. Norway had the game in their hands but speculated on the last 19-second possession. The referees, who had to please and annoy everyone, changed the ball's hands with five seconds to go and the Dujshebaevs made it 25-25.
Not even that setback separated the Norwegians from the party and the fight. Between pending accounts and a growing team, the world runners-up in 2017 and 2019 squeezed from start to finish. Bjornsen was the most effective in the first half, while Spain turned to Alex Dujshebaev to straighten out a thick start. Bergerud did his homework under the sticks and the notice came from Ribera (6-2).
Cañellas came on as a revulsion and Gonzalo also began to stop to equalize a first half in which Spain worked when they managed to defend and run. The resumption brought that game with two pivots of the 'Hispanics' without being able to break the game in the move to the ERGO Arena in Gdansk after two high-level phases. Again the shine of the goalkeepers prevented escapes, with a Bjornsen that was lethal.
The Spanish failures in seven meters were already crucial in a drought at a bad time, such as that of the only defeat of the tournament against France. Alex Dujshebaev broke the jam but the Norwegian pick and shovel put Spain on the brink of the abyss. A sung elimination that became a resurrection by the Nordic passive.
The fight between Sagosen, O'Sullivan, Alex and Maqueda, defenses on the limit and goals without a net, Spain had the option of victory in the first overtime, with Gonzalo warning of what was coming. Ribera's team did not finish off, nor in superiority at the start of the second extension, but the contribution in attack did not stop. A great goal from Dani Dujshebaev served the option that, with a save in flight to Barthold, signed the Toledo goalkeeper for posterity.
--RESULT: NORWAY, 34 - SPAIN, 35. (13-12, at halftime).
NORWAY: Bergerud (P), Saeveras (P), Sagosen (3), O'Sullivan (4), Aga Eck, Barthold (8), Overjordet, Overby (2), Toft, Bjornsen (9), Gullerud (1) , Johanessen, Reinkind (3), Gulliksen, Grondhal (2), Blonz y Abelvik Rod (2).
SPAIN: Corrales (P), Perez de Vargas (P), Guardiola, A.Fernandez (8), Sole (3), Cañellas (5), A.Dujshebaev (7), D.Dujshebaev (5), Maqueda, Married , Figueras (5), Pecina, Odriozola (1), Sanchez-Migallon, Serdio (1), Garciandia and D.Fernandez.
--PARTIALS EVERY FIVE MINUTES: 2-0, 6-2, 7-4, 8-7, 12-11, 13-12 --rest--, 16-15, 17-17, 19-20, 22- 22, 24-24, 25-25 --extension-- 27-27, 29-29 --extension-- 32-21, 34-35.
--REFEREES: Bojan and David (ESL).
--PAVILLION: ERGO Gdansk Arena.