Spain beat Croatia in EHF EURO Cup closer
Spain have ended the Men’s EHF EURO Cup 2022 on a high. In a rematch of last year’s EHF EURO final, the reigning European champions defeated Croatia 34:22 Sunday evening in the last match of the competition in front of 500 spectators in Pontevedra.
The result did not affect the final standings of the EHF EURO Cup, as Spain remained in third and Croatia in second place. Hungary had already been confirmed as the winners.
EHF EURO CUP 2022
Spain vs Croatia 34:22 (15:13)
- the match had been rescheduled following its postponement in January when air traffic in Spain was disabled due to a snow storm
- Croatia, playing without stars like Domagoj Duvnjak, Luka Cindric or Igor Karacic, led 3:1 early on but were never in the lead again after Spain had leveled
- the match was still balanced at 12:12 after 25 minutes though Spain took a two-goal lead before the break
- the hosts then completely dominated the second half, outscoring Croatia 19:9
- three players scored six times each for Spain: Adrian Figueras, Jorge Maqueda, and Valero Rivera, who netted four times in the last four minutes
- Croatia’s best scorer was Tomislav Severec, with four goals
Spain shift focus to Olympics
For Spain, Sunday’s match against Croatia was about more than just closing their rather disappointing EHF EURO Cup campaign in a positive way. It also marked the start of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, which throw off in less than a month’s time. The team of head coach Jordi Ribera will be pleased with their second half, but also be aware that their opponents were not out on full force. That will be different in Tokyo, where Spain can expect stiff competition in a group with the likes of Germany, Norway, and France. Croatia have not qualified for the Olympics.
It was difficult for us in the beginning, it was a young Croatia side with a lot of desire. In general we played well, both in defence and in attack, with fluidity. We are still far from the Olympic Games, it is important to have won but the real objective is to arrive in Tokyo well prepared.