ZAGREB – The Spanish national handball team won its first European title at the Zagreb Arena on Sunday, downing Sweden 29-23 in the final.
The match stood at 4-4 after the first few minutes, and the Swedes then managed to take control and gain the advantage, although they never outpaced the Spaniards by more than 3 points, with Jordi Ribera’s squad going to the break behind by just two points at 12-14.
Spain returned to the court like a rocket, however, garnering two points immediately and tying things up, after which it took the reins and opened up an eight-point gap that completely discombobulated the Swedes.
This was Spain’s fifth European handball finals match.
The team wound up the runner-up in 1996 against Russia, 1998 against Sweden, 2006 against France and 2016 against Germany, and took home the bronze medals in 2000 and 2014.
Sweden remains the winningest handball squad in Europe, with four titles – 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2002 – in its four previous final competitions.