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A powerless Spain collapses against the Netherlands (29-21) and depends on a carom to go to the women's handball pre-Olympic handball tournament

2023-12-10T21:09:00.794Z

Highlights: A powerless Spain collapses against the Netherlands (29-21) and depends on a carom to go to the women's handball pre-Olympic handball tournament. The Warriors, out of the quarterfinals of the World Cup, are waiting for Montenegro, who are looking for a place in the round against host Sweden on Monday. "It's been total helplessness. We haven't had the quality or clairvoyance to solve certain situations," says coach Ambros Martín.


The Warriors, out of the quarterfinals of the World Cup, are waiting for Montenegro, who are looking for a place in the round against host Sweden on Monday


The women's handball team can only save a carom in its Olympic aspirations. Against the powerful Netherlands it was the impotence made into handball (29-21), capitulated as soon as they returned from the break and soon forgot about the quarterfinals of the World Cup, the great objective because it gave them the direct ticket to the pre-Olympic qualifiers. The collapse was absolute, although they still have a thread of life left to enter that tournament and dream of Paris 2024: it depends on Montenegro, who this Monday face Sweden (20.30), one of the hosts, in search of the quarter-finals. The Warriors have not failed at a Games since Beijing 2008 and watching them on television would be a wake-up call for the future.

After the 30-22 loss to the Czech Republic, the Spanish players said they did penance in the hotel, got together, conjured themselves and appealed to the faith. The effect was nil. Losses – always losses – and a meagre attack buried any hope of victory. Only the final rebellion of rookie Danila So Delgado (five goals without a miss), who appeared with everything settled, avoided even more starving offensive numbers. The national team was held to 22 goals on Friday and this Sunday it was even worse. The 21 goals in a current handball of great figures reflected the crash of the attack.

That's how a World Cup ended with bad feelings for Spain. Against the weakest opponents (Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Argentina), they went through difficult sections; and against a powerhouse like the Netherlands and a team in a state of grace like the Czech Republic, the triumph turned out to be a chimera. The arrival just a few months ago of Ambros Martín, the most successful coach in Spanish women's handball (four Champions Leagues), did not improve on the precedent. He is the third coach in this three-year Olympic cycle: Carlos Viver said goodbye at Tokyo 2021, José Ignacio Prades took over as midfielder at the 2021 World Cup and the 2022 European Championship, and in the spring the Canary Islander landed.

"I take full responsibility," Martin said in statements offered by the Spanish federation. He didn't put hot cloths on the stick. "It's been total helplessness. We haven't had the quality or clairvoyance to solve certain situations. We gave the ball to the opponent. That has punished us a lot. Too many mistakes in these types of matches are paid for. It's tough to finish a championship with this feeling. In the two key games, we made the most mistakes. We have to find a solution," said the coach, who also referred to the physical problems of some players.

The fact is that, in the early afternoon, a small clearing opened up in the black sky of Spain with the defeat of the Czech Republic against Brazil (27-30). The eight-thousander ahead was the same, but I would climb it with oxygen. They no longer had to win by a four-goal difference against the Netherlands to secure the quarter-finals, but a draw was enough for them. It was no use.

Losses and poor attack

Going into the break with just nine goals was the clearest sign of premature death. Spain burst in with a 2-4, clinging to the energy of Paula Arcos, but the flash did not ignite. The theory was repeated by all the players to the point of exhaustion: it was necessary to limit losses more than ever to avoid the fast play of the Dutch. It was the same. The everyday black hole was still there.

And that was added to an obtuse attack, without outside shooting, insisting on a very powerful central area of the Oranje, without finding the game on the wings and, in addition, missing some clear shots. For 13 minutes, the Warriors only scored one goal (from 2-4 in the seventh minute to 8-5 in the 20th). The defense wasn't bad, despite the damage the game did to the pivot, but the offensive maneuvers ran in a dark tunnel.

The drought could have buried any chance for Spain, but Holland was not a cousin either. They lost as many balls at half-time as the national team (10). However, he only had to wait for the law of gravity, thanks to his obvious superiority, to do its job to open the gap: 13-9 at the intermission.

What was there not to do when we got back from the locker room? Losing balls. For Spain's first three possessions went to hell. Before reaching the fourth minute, Ambros Martín had to press the time-out button and berrate his team like they had never been seen in the World Cup. But the story was already written. There was no remedy. No one could stop the sinking. If Spain struggled to find the extremes, the Netherlands had a freeway on the outside. Three goals in 15 minutes and the 21-12 ended an afternoon of helplessness for the Warriors. Paris is going through a carom with Montenegro.

Netherlands, 29 - Spain, 21

Netherlands: Ten Holte; Malestein (5, 2p), Housheer (2), Broch (-), Dulfer (2), Nusser (2) and Van Wetering (2) —starting team— Duijndam (ps), Van der Heijden (3), Abbingh (2), Haggerty (-), Smits (1), Sprengers (6), Vollebregt (-), Van der Vliet (3) and Polman (1).

Spain: Castellanos; Etxeberria (1), M. González (5, 1p), A. Fernández (2), Arcos (3), S. López (3) and Tchaptchet (-) —starting team— Zoqbi (ps), M. López (-), Campos (-), Arderius (-), Somaza (-), L. González (-), So Delgado (5), Gassama (-) and P. Pérez (2, 1p).

Score every five minutes: 2-2, 6-4, 7-5, 8-5, 10-7 and 13-9 (Halftime) 16-10, 19-12, 22-12, 25-14, 27-19 and 29-21 (Final).

Referees: Hansen and Madsen. Broch (2), Haggerty, M. Gonzalez and Tchaptchet were excluded for two minutes.

Arena Nord in Frederikshavn (Denmark). 1,314 spectators.


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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-12-10

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