Spain seal sixth consecutive semi-final berth
The reigning champions overcame the loss against Norway from two days ago and secured their sixth win in seven matches at the EHF EURO 2022, 28:27, against Poland.
‘Los Hispanos’ will play the semi-finals for the sixth time in a row, while Poland finished last in main round group II, with only one point.
Poland vs Spain 27:28 (13:14)
- it was not plain sailing for Spain, who started with a 7:3 run, but Poland tied the score with their own 5:1 run, inspired by two goals from back Damian Przytula
- six of Spain’s 14 goals in the first half were scored via fast breaks, with four coming from the right wing pair of Ferran Sole and Aleix Gómez
- Spain’s goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales saved two one-on-one shots with 38 and 29 seconds to go against wings Arkadiusz Moryto and Jan Czuwara, to preserve Spain’s one-goal lead
- Poland’s top scorer in the tournament, right wing Arkadiusz Moryto, became the top goal scorer of the EHF EURO 2022 after scoring six goals, improving his overall tally to 46 goals
- the reigning champions are the first team to earn the final weekend tickets to Budapest from group II and will finish first in the standings if Norway do not beat Sweden in the last game in Bratislava
Spain’s rebuild yields results
Only Croatia, who qualified in the final weekend seven times in a row, boast a better streak than Spain in terms of consecutive semi-finals berths in the history of the EHF EURO. Their sixth semi-final berth continues a streak which started in Serbia in 2012 and has yielded two gold medals, a silver, and a bronze.
However, after replacing crucial players like Raul Entrerrios, Julen Aguinagalde and Viran Morros after their retirement from the national team, Jordi Ribera’s side still has teething problems. While in previous tournaments, their level increased on a game-to-game basis, Spain look to be going backwards in terms of their output in the competition, displaying issues in the last games in Bratislava.
While their experience was enough to see them through against Poland, the attack was once again hit-and-miss, with previously reliable contributors like right wing Ferran Sole, who missed only four shots during the previous six games, failing to convert three shots on Tuesday. With three rest days before the semi-finals, Spain must improve if they want a chance to win their third gold medal in a row.
Poland did not let us play as we do usually want to play. We needed to have patience in defence, but when we were ahead two, three goals, it got better. We did not want to get in complicated situations in the last minute – but we were. The two super-saves of Rodrigo Corrales made us win.
We had our chances, we played a great defence except against their line player, at the end we had two clear chances and did not score. To lose just by one goal against Spain is a good result normally, I hope we are able to change it in the future.