The Netherlands are world champions after thriller against Spain

photo: IHF
The Netherlands are world champions after thriller against Spain
Ibolya Szekeres

IHF World Championship, Japan, Kumamoto


Two teams that never won the gold medal at any final tournament, Spain and Netherlands met in the final of WCh in Kumamoto, Japan.

Spain defeated Norway clearly in the semifinal, meanwhile, the Dutch team overcomes Russia in a thriller.

Spain has experience with Navarro, Zoqby de Paula, Pena or Barbosa, on the other side Netherlands is led by Wester, Abbingh, Polman or Snelder.

The two head coaches, Carlos Viver and Emmanuel Mayonnade are known as strong when it comes to tactical moves, so the final promises a lot on this plan too.

Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa, photo: IHF

Spain started the match with their compact defense, causing trouble for the Dutch attack in the first 12 minutes and Barbosa scored on speed for Spain, several times. 9-6 is the Spanish advantage, but Polman, Abbing and Malestein found their play and leveled the game 9-9. After this Mayonnade called a timeout and said: “Now we start the final..” and the Netherlands had the lead 13-16 at the pause.

In the second half, the Dutch team managed to increase the lead to six goals, when Abbingh, Snelder, Polman, and Wester in the goal showed fantastic performance and willingness. Spain seemed to be done, but with a time-out, and Zoqby de Paula helping from the goal Spain got back int the game and slowly reduced the gap, leveling the game 29-29 one minute before the end. Netherland had the ball in the attack to score and lead, but they went into passive play. Spain had the chance and 21 seconds to win the gold.

Lois Abbingh, photo: IHF

The last 21 seconds goes crazy, Barbosa shoots, Wester saves and she will throw the ball on a fastbreak, but Hernandez blocks the ball in the last 10 seconds, which means red ard for the Spanish line player and 7-meter throw for the Netherlands. Lois Abbingh is too confident to miss and the Netherlands won their first gold medals in history, defeating Spain in a thriller of a final.

Spain – Netherlands 29 – 30 (13 – 16)

Referees: Bonaventura, Bonaventura

Spain: Navarro (20%), Zoqby de Paula (22%) (GK) – Cabral Barbosa 7, Lopez 6, Fernandez Fraga 5, Pena 3(2), M.Cesareo, Guttierez, Gonzalez 2, Jimenez 2, Hernandez 3, Nunez, Arderius Martin, L.Gonzalez, Echeverria Martinez

Netherlands: Wester (31%), Dujindam (50%)(GK) – Polman 9, Abbingh 7, Snelder 5, Van der Heijden 3, Malestein 3, Bont 2, Van Wetering 1, Krammer, Nusser, Amega, Dulfer, Freriks, Smeets, Housher

Suspensions: 2 minutes, 1 RC; 6 minutes

7 meters: 6/4; 1/1

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Ibolya Szekeres

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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