Spain on the road to main round after shocking Germany

GROUP C REVIEW: Spain’s 33:26 win was the second biggest victory by the defending champions against their predecessors in EHF EURO history

Alex Dujshebaev scored seven times as Spain eased to their second win of the EHF EURO 2020. Photo © Stanko Gruden / kolektiff

Spain underlined their ambitions at the EHF EURO 2020. After their 33:22 in their opener against Latvia, they achieved a similar result in the duel against Germany on Saturday (33:26) and got their feet firmly on the road to the main round.

  • Alex Dujshebaev scored seven goals for Spain
  • goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas was awarded Player of the Match for his 12 saves
  • their 30:22 win in Norway in 2008 is still the biggest Spanish victory against Germany at an EHF EURO final tournament
  • Germany remain on two points


Spain vs Germany 33:26 (14:11)

The first half was very up and down. It took almost five minutes for Alex Dujshebaev to score the first goal of the match, then Spain overran the lacklustre Germans.

After only 13 minutes, the defending champions were ahead 9:3 thanks to a superb performance by goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas, forcing German coach Christian Prokop to take an early timeout and to change the goalkeeper from Andreas Wolff to Johannes Bitter.

This was the right decision: Bitter’s saves boosted the German confidence, while the Spaniards stopped scoring. Within seven minutes, the Germans had almost levelled the deficit at 9:10, before again Spain managed to score a 3:0 run.

Missing two penalty shots in the first half, Germany missed the chance to be closer than 11:14 at the break.

The Germans, who had beaten Spain in the EHF EURO 2016 final 24:17, closed the gap slightly after the break before the defending champions struck back in a more than dominant way, still backed by magician and player of the match Perez de Vargas between the posts.

Germany missed shots and passes; Spain said “gracias” and turned the turnovers into counter-attack goals.

At one point Spain were ahead by 10 goals when Dujshebaev scored his sixth after a series of Spanish fast-breaks. In the end, Germany avoided a full disaster with a spattering of late goals.

Spanish coach Jordi Ribera said the team delivered what they had planned.

"We knew the importance of the game against a strong rival, we were doing a good job in all parts of the match," he said. "But still there is a lot to play for; the competition is very long."

Prokop acknowledged that Spain deserved their win, but remained hopeful of progression.

"We have to accept this result, we will improve against Latvia, then we hopefully can make it to the main round," he said.



written by Björn Pazen / jh