16/01/2020

Angel’s touch brings Spain closer to the semi-finals

GROUP I REVIEW: Defending champions start the main round victorious against the Czech Republic thanks to Fernandez, Dujshebaev and Perez de Vargas

Angel Fernandez and Alex Dujshebaev both scored five times on the way to Spain's latest EHF EURO win. Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

In a dominant way, Spain extended their clean record at the EHF EURO 2020 with their fourth victory in their fourth match. Thanks to a strong goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas – awarded player of the match after 11 saves - and many counter-attack goals they beat the Czechs 31:25.

  • Spain extended their winning run to seven straight victories at EHF EURO events
  • Spain now have won all eight official matches against the Czech Republic
  • their 18th goal was the 50th EURO goal for Spaniard Alex Dujshebaev, who netted in five like Angel Fernandez
  • Czech Ondrej Zdrahala was the top scorer with eight goals

GROUP I

Spain vs Czech Republic 31:25 (14:9)

In contrast to their 15:32 defeat against Spain in Croatia in 2018 – their biggest ever at an EHF EURO tournament – the Czechs were much closer this year in Vienna in the opener of main round group I. But still, the defending champions took a well-deserved clear victory, remaining on the track to the semi-finals with four points now.

Despite nine saves by Tomas Mrkva, including two penalty shots, the Czechs were down by five goals at the break. Without the superb support from their goalkeeper, the game would have already been decided. Spain counted on their classical weapons: counter attacks and line-player goals, while they had problems in scoring from positional attack.

On the other side, Spanish goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas had saved 40 per cent of the Czech shots, but the overall number was extremely low.

After the break, Spain moved quickly ahead to 17:11, and the Czechs did not find any more gaps in the Spanish defence for some minutes.

When EHF EURO 2018 top scorer Ondrej Zdrahala started his engines alongside with Stanislav Kasparek, the Czech Republic were able to close the gap a little – but not enough to really challenge the defending champions. Ultimately, a treble strike by Angel Fernandez to take Spain 23:17 up decided the one-sided match, in which the biggest gap was 10 goals at 30:20.

Spanish line player Adrian Figueras said after the match: "We are very happy about the win against a strong Czech team. They had a terrific start to the game and it took us a while to adapt on defence. However, we managed to get a number of defensive stops which we could convert into easy fastbreak goals, which ultimately helped us to secure the win.”

written by Björn Pazen / jh