handball croatia, spain.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JACEK BEDNARCZYK

Spain is going to the finals of the European handball championship following a victory over Croatia 29-34. The national team now moves on to face Norway in the battle for third place.

It would be still unfair to blame Mirko Alilovic, who has three defense in the first ten minutes and then stopped. It's hard to explain why Zeljko Babic after those sensational performances of Ivan Stevanovic against Poland decides to keep it on the bench. It came back, but too late.

The Croatian team could rely from the beginning on the support of more than 1000 supporters. The atmosphere in the Tauron-Arena was dominated by their strong support. And they had reasons to celebrate in the beginning when their team was leading by 4:1 after four minutes. 

The first equalizer by Antonio Garcia after 22 minutes (13:13) was the result of another fast-break. When Ugalde succeeded with another two consecutive goals within 30 seconds the Spanish team was leading by 15:13. It was the first time that the Croatian fans remained silent for moments. Spain have on half-time a comfortable 18:14 lead.

The Croatian team showed great mentality after being behind by four goals at half time. The Spanish team had to use all their energy to maintain a narrow lead. The match was decided in the 54th minute when Croatia lost the ball twice within 20 seconds to Victor Tomas. The match ended 34:29.

Watch full match between Spain and Croatia here

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