surinenglish

Spain crowned European handball champions once more

Captain Raúl Entrerríos lifts the trophy following Sunday's final.
Captain Raúl Entrerríos lifts the trophy following Sunday's final. / Reuters
  • Los Hispanos retained their crown with victory over Croatia, sealing their place at the Olympics in Tokyo

Spain retained their status as European handball champions on Sunday following a close-fought final against Croatia in Stockholm on Sunday.

Los Hispanos came out on top in a game in stark contrast to those which came earlier in the tournament. With the biggest continental prize on offer, it was a close-fought game in which the defences dominated.

Croatia were the better side in the first half, albeit without making much of an impact on the scoreboard. However, Maqueda and keeper Pérez de Vargas started to come into their own and the reigning champions were able to go in at the break with the most slender of leads.

After the break, both teams defended resolutely at the back but it was Spain who were able to make it count in the decisive moments, beating Croatia, as was the case in the 2005 World Cup final.

Spain have become the first side to retain the trophy in twenty years and, in doing so, sealed their place at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.