Astonishing comeback seals gold medal for Spain

20221106 AH 3577 2 EHF / Adrian Costeiu

Backed by a frantic crowd, as the Centro de Desportos e Congresso de Matosinhos was sold out and packed with nearly 4,000 fans, Portugal were on the verge of creating history and clinching their maiden Men's 20 EHF EURO title.

But then Spain enjoyed a 6:0 run that spurred an amazing comeback, and ”Los Hispanos” ultimately clinched their third M20 EHF EURO title with a 37:35 win.


Portugal vs Spain 35:37 (16:15)

  • failing to score for eight minutes and 54 seconds was Portugal's undoing, as the 6:0 run deployed by Spain between the 48th and the 57th minute was the pivotal period of the match
  • Portugal's starting back line – Francisco Mota da Costa, Andre Sousa and Martim Mota da Costa – combined for 25 of their side's 35 goals, or an otherworldly 71 per cent
  • Backs Jan Gurri and Bruno Reguart combined for 15 goals for Spain, with the latter scoring thrice in the last 10 minutes to help his side win the gold medal
  • Francisco Mota da Costa became the top scorer of the competition after his 11-goal outing in the final, topping the charts with 58 goals, four more than Denmark’s centre back Thomas Arnoldsen
  • Costa's 11-goal outing tied the mark for the most goals in a M20 EHF EURO final, set by Slovenia's Gregor Ocvirk – 11 goals – in the 2018 final
  • this was the highest-scoring M20 EHF EURO final. Portugal and Spain scored a combined 72 goals, nine more than the previous record set in 2000 – 63 – between Yugoslavia and Belarus
  • Spain tied Germany and Denmark as the nations with the most medals won in the competition – six – while also tying Germany for the second most gold medals (three)

An epic final for an epic tournament

The whole arena trembled as Portugal, who had the win and the maiden gold medal in history in their hands, failed to score. But we had seen this movie before when Francisco Mota da Costa delivered Spain a blow in the last second of their meeting in the preliminary round.

Indeed, Francisco Mota da Costa had the chance to shoot for the final time for Portugal in this tournament, but he deferred. Spain were up 37:35 after engineering one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the tournament in less than nine minutes.

This is the birth of a golden generation for "Los Hispanos," who also won the title in 2012 and 2016. On the other hand, Portugal will be always asking what if – but it is very tough to see how the Mota da Costa brothers, Andre Sousa and several other players will not improve Portugal's senior team in a few years.

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