Spain – Denmark
Serbia – Spain (20-31)
Príncipe Felipe, Zaragoza. January 21, 19:00
Spain harrass Serbia with defence and counterattack.The ‘Hispanos’ entered the pitch with a lot of intensity with a particularly inspiring Dani Sarmiento. With an aggressive defence and under the direction of the Canarian, Spain managed to win a partial of 0-3 that broke the equality in the first 5 minutes. The Serbian coach, Veselin Vukovic decided to change his defence, casting away their 6-0 for a mixed defence with Nikcevic marking Sarmiento.
The game changed following a double save and counterattack from Stanic to Viran Morros and Valero Rivera. In the retreat, the brilliant Barcelona defender went a step too far in trying to stop the Serbian advance, strongly hitting Nenadic when jumping. The referee dealt with the action with a red card for Viran, that his excessive force in defence meant missing out on the rest of the game. The red card encouraged the ‘hipanos’ and raised the bar, the encouragement gave Valero Rivera’s men the extra push that they needed. With an extraordinary defence and an impeccable counterattack (6/8 in this part) Spain went into the break with a lead of 12-20.
After the rest Spain didn’t lower the intensity at all, converting the second 30 minutes into a party for the players and fans alike.The Serbian Marsenic received the second red card of the afternoon with a similar action to that in the first half, although this time on Ángel Montoro. With the pass to the quarter-finals was assured by the Spaniards which got up to 11 goals (18-29, 58th minute) that they maintained to the end (20-31).
THE FACT: Spain scored 8 fast break goals (8/11). Serbia, none.
Veselin Vukovic (Serbian head coach): “First of all congratulations to my ex-coach, Valero, and the Spanish team for a deserved victory. Maybe the difference at the end has been too big because we did a good second half. Anyway we made nineteen or twenty turnovers and that is the main reason for our defeat today. We conceded many fast breaks to Spain. I think we had always in mind the possibility of a victory today but reality has been cruel to us. So I can only congratulate the Spanish team and wish them luck for the rest of the Championship until the finals”.
Darko Stanic (Serbia): “First of all congrats to the Spanish team and good luck for the rest of the tournament. We basically have to take care of our problems. Today we had the possibility to reach the quarter finals but we did not accomplish that. We have not played the way we wanted to play and now we have to evaluate the problems we have and look for solutions. By now there is nothing more to say but that Spain deserved the victory”
Valero Rivera (Spanish head coach): “I am very happy and satisfied of my team´s performance. We have made an excellent first half and in the second I think we have played thinking about the rest of the tournament although not forgetting the game we were playing. The team has put all the effort in the match again and all the players had the chance to play. I am very satisfied with our defence and fast breaks and also of our positional attacks. It has been a good result; we cannot forget that Serbia is Europe´s runner-up”.
Albert Rocas (Spain): “I think we have made a very complete match from the very beginning. Maybe it has been hard to get a gap in the score in the first half but the team has been incredible after the disqualification of Virán Morros, who is a basic player within our defensive system. We have proved that we are a team over any circumstance and we could show character and strength in defence without him. We have managed to make fast breaks, which is a fundamental aspect of our game and Arpad made many brilliant saves and of course it has been good for the team. In the second half we have relaxed a little bit and we made more mistakes although at the end of the game we had a clear advantage again. We must keep on playing like this until the end of the tournament. We are in quarter finals but we have done nothing yet.
- MVP: Albert Rocas (Spain)
- Top Scorer: Albert Rocas (Spain, 7 goals)
Germany – Macedonia (28-23)
Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona. January 20, 15:45
Germany beat Macedonia with no trouble. Germany have qualified with clarity for the quarter finals, where they will play Spain or Serbia, by beating an inferior Macedonia. The Germans can track their win to their great start to the match (5-1, 10th minute) aided by the constant loss of possession from the Macedonians. The German team took control throughout the match thanks to their success from 9 metres and the 10 saves from their keeper, Heinevetter. The biggest advantage for the Germans in the first half was 6 goals (11-5, 23rd minute). Macedonia reacted in the last minutes of the first half throught the hands of Kiril Lazarov to go into the break trailing by four goals.
Things began to level out at the start of the second half when the Germans found it difficult to attack the static 6-0 defence from the Macedonians and Kiril Lazarov scored three consecutive goals. The key moment came 17 minutes from the end when Dejan Manaskov scored two goals for his team (18-16) and the Macedonians had two occasions to shorten the lead even more. A sensational save from the German keeper Heinevetter and a turnover lost them the game. Germany did not let them get away with these errors and puniched them with a 3-0 partial (all three from Schmidt) they recomposed themselves and drowned the opposition (21-16, 47th minute). The Germans dominated without trouble to the end of the match with a maximum lead of 8 goals (26-18, 56th minute)
THE FACT: Germany scored from 52% of their throws in their incredible first half.
Zvonsko Shundovski (Macedonian head coach): “I want to congratulate the German team. It has been complicated for us today. We have tried everything. We hoped have an equalized match but we have played bad. In the second half, we have been close to equalize the score but we have made mistakes in our tactic. It is always difficult to play against Germany”
Stojanche Stoilov (Macedonia): “We were very tired because of the last days. The German defense has been very strong and also they had a very good goalkeeper”
Martin Heuberger (German head coach): “I’m proud of this victory. FYRO Macedonia is a good team, they have good
players like Lazarov. Our pivot has been very good today, as well us our goalkeeper and the strong defense. We have had a few mistakes when the match was decided already”
Silvio Heinevetter (Germany): “We know good Macedonian team. They don’t like a fast game. They prefer a stable defense. That’s the reason why we played with speed”
- MVP: Silvio Heinvetter (Germany)
- Top Scorer: Kiril Lazarov (Macedonia, 8 goals)
Iceland – France (28-30)
Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona. January 20, 20:15
France beat Iceland through wings. France had to work hard to beat Iceland and qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Spain. In an equal match, the French defence in the final minutes and the speed of Guigou on the left wing tilted the balance in favour of the holding champions. The two French left wings – Honrrubia and Guigou – were crucial with 13 goals from 14 throws.
France dominated the first half but with a maximum lead of only 2 goals (12-14, 29th minute). The rigid 6-0 defence of Iceland allowed the goals to run and in this respect Honrrubia starred with 6 goals in 7 throws. France’s worst nightmare was Palmarsson, the author of 4 goals in the first half, who kept his team in the game. Claude Onesta ordered a marking man on the Icelandic back in the second half which disactivated him. Accambray took advantage of the deep Icelandic defence to give his team a 4 goal lead (21-25, 46th minute). Both teams opted to put their pivot at stationary attack. Iceland were rewarded three penalties in even minutes to tie the game (26-26, 54th minute). The Icelandic ball spills in the decisive phase were key so Guigou was allowed to score two more goals following defensive recoveries (27-30, 59th minute).
THE FACT: Michael Guigou had 100% accuracy in the second half with 6 goals from 6 attempts.
Aron Pálmarsson (Iceland): “We played against one of the best teams of the world. We were really close but unfortunately, it did not go the way we planned it. Our defense was not perfect and we made a lot of mistakes, we lost a lot of balls foolishly. France deserved to win tonight”.
Thierry Omeyer (France): “Winning was the most important thing tonight, and we achieved it. I think we won because we were less tired at the end of the match, since they found the match really long and we kept the same intensity during the entire match. They were good in their shots from the long distance, but we knew how to face it and in the end we retrieved two balls which gave us the final victory. This was the key of the match”.
- MVP: Samuel Honrubia (France)
- Top Scorer: Kiril Lazarov (Macedonia, 8 goals)