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The World Cup podium, so close and so far for Spain

Shandy Barbosa, stopped by the Danish defense, this Sunday. AFP7 via Europa Press (Europa Press)

Spain rose during the first two phases to the 6,000 meters of the World Cup with the drive of the young women, favored by a route without large stones and with the merit of not having been confused along the way. She was planted in the final phase of Granollers, in the warmth of the home, ready to ascend a whole eight thousand . There the great names of women's handball were waiting for him, who had survived a devastating part of the table, for which he was not the national team. The enterprise to hang a medal was gigantic, and the logic was imposed with all the crudeness for the girls of Prades. In the semifinals they lasted 40 minutes against Norway and this Sunday, in the fight for the bronze, only 20. Later, Norway hung the gold after a huge comeback against France (22-29; 16-12 at intermission).

Denmark was overwhelming as soon as they accelerated after the break. The impotence of the locals was indisputable and the second half became a triumphal march for the Nordics against a Spain overcome on all sides. The defense was broken, the goal did not work and the attack was an ordeal without the possibility of running.

From the 10-10 that Kaba Gassama scored in the 20th minute after receiving a wonderful assist from Silvia Arderius' back, the superiority was undeniable: 25-18, only made up in the final stretch, when everything was already settled. From that equalized, the party was sentenced in a plis plas. Backed by Toft's saves, the great executor was Burgaard, scoring seven goals without fail, three of them in the first two minutes of the restart. Nobody could tie him up and, from 19-13 of minute 33, there was nothing left to litigate in Granollers parquet.

The Danish defense, with its physical hegemony, turned out to be an infinite wall for Spain, which crashed again and again, very powerless. And he also lost the defense, his grip throughout the championship. Prades ordered as a last resort to upload lines in search of an emergency solution, but there was no effect. Burgaard, Jorgensen, Hansen… they felt their way on their way to bronze, their first medal since third place in 2013.

During the last 40 minutes, there was hardly Spain. Neither goal, a key factor in the promotion of the selection to the semifinals. This time, neither Merche Castellanos in the first half (three stops, with 18% success) nor Silvia Navarro in the second (four interventions with 16%) could get their companions out of poverty. Until now they had been the second best couple, a condition that was not demonstrated this Sunday. In addition, they had the best pair in front, with Toft and Reindhart. The second was the semifinal MVP (unprecedented against the warriors) and the first lifted the award this Sunday, with nine stops.

“Only two minutes of duel”, Silvia Navarro had claimed after falling on Friday. There was fear of a mental and physical collapse after the exhaustion against Norway. But it didn't happen at first. Spain showed up from a plant at lunchtime in search of its sixth metal. And he did it with the goals of Mireya González, a replacement for the injured Almudena Rodríguez and who until then had only added 13 minutes in the entire World Cup after being played on the horn. Another emergency resource that gave signs of life to the first of changes. At that point, the game was still in a fist, with even more losses from the Danes, and with good activity behind, at many moments in defense 5-1.

However, as in the semifinals, the variety of resources of his rival marked the escape: 14-10 in the 26th minute. “You have to be much safer in attack ! ”Prades exclaimed. The traffic jam at the top was beginning to be corrosive, the Spanish women unable to harm their opponent's center block. As soon as they couldn't steal and run, and that didn't happen very often, the positional attack turned into torture. Meanwhile, Denmark threatened the counter and stopped.

On 16-13 of the intermission they still left the duel in the air. Actually, it was a sigh. Around the locker room, the Danes unleashed a tornado that left Spain out in the open and definitely without answers. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, he only scored two goals from Shandy Barbosa, and one of them from a penalty. The collapse was hopeless. The Warriors only had the final rebellion of Carmen Martín (six goals) and the insistence of Carmen Campos to avoid a very ugly scoreboard. The party was Danish and the crying was Spanish. The selection was one step away from the medals on Friday, but reality showed that they were too far away. The courage of their most adolescent players was not enough.

Denmark, 35 – Spain, 28

Denmark: Toft and Reinhardt (p); Pedersen (1), Hansen (6), Heindahl (3), Haugsted (3), Bohme, Tranborg (2), Jorgensen (6), Jensen (3), Burgaard (7), Petersen (1), Hojlund (1 ), Friis (1), Iversen (2), Moller.

Spain : Navarro and Castellanos (p); Martín (6), Campos (5), Arderius (1), Cesáreo (2), Gutiérrez, Etxeberria, López (2), Gassama (3), Fernández, Hernández, Espínola (1), Arcos (2), González ( 2), Barbosa (4).

Partials every five minutes : 2-2, 4-4, 7-6, 10-10, 14-10, 16-13 -break-; 19-13, 22-15, 27-19, 28-21, 32-25 and 35-28.

Referees : Amar Konjicanin and Dino Konjicanin. Heindahl, Tranborg, Burgaard, Martín, Campos, Etxeberria and Espinola were excluded for two minutes.

Palau d'Esports de Granollers. 3,969 viewers

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