Spain falls to the Czech Republic but continues to depend on itself, against the Netherlands on Sunday, to be in the crossroads


The Spanish women's handball team suffered its first defeat in the 2023 World Cup this Friday by falling (30-22) to the Czech Republic at the Arena Nord in Fredrikshavn (Denmark), a false step with the ticket to the quarterfinals at stake. that they will have to look for against the Netherlands on Sunday at the close of the Main Round.

The 'Guerreras' saw their ability to grow in the face of adversity hindered against some Czechs convinced of opening Group IV and claiming their chances of being in the crossroads. Spain did not have its day, stuck in attack and overwhelmed in the retreat, and this time it did not find the required improvement, seeing the score slip between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second.

Martín's team were once again condemned to suffer and look for solutions on the fly against a better-positioned rival with clearer ideas in the first half, which did not allow the 'Warriors' to awaken as in their four previous victories in Denmark. As if that were not enough, they raised their voice just before the break, with a loss in the Spanish defense due to a poor backward balance in a devastating partial.

Spain found itself five down (13-8), made up at the horn by Paulina Pérez, the best of its kind, after rushing in attack and not having the continuity in defense that its rival did display. The Czechs defended sunk but without complications because Martín's team did not have an outside shot. Furthermore, neither Lysa Tchaptchet nor Kaba Gassama scored goals in the pivot.

The equation failed everywhere for the 'Guerreras' without the insurance between the sticks from other games, surpassed by Darly Zoqbi and also by Mercedes Castellanos in the second half, while Kudlackova, MVP of the match, added a dozen interventions in the first act. At the restart, Spain threatened with the reaction, once again activating its defense, but its time did not come either.

The Czechs took advantage of their opponent's losses and, between Charlotte Cholevova, Marketa Jerabkova and Veronika Malá, continued the bloodshed (19-11). Against the ropes, Spain pulled with pride, with changes to a more one-on-one defense, but it did not worry the Czech Republic despite cutting the difference to four goals. The wear and tear and the matches began to weigh on the 'Guerreras'.

Martín's changes had no effect, with minutes for the newcomer Marta López, but without the necessary effectiveness or a strong defense, against a very plugged-in opponent who was comfortable without Spain seeking more extremes as Sole López also claimed. Maitane Echeverria's discomfort, although she returned to help her teammates, did not help find a response to the slowdown.

The World Cup weighs but the most important thing remains. The 'Guerreras', who, in addition to the fourth place, are seeking to seal at least the Pre-Olympic, will play everything on the last day against a Netherlands that a priori is the most demanding rival, the executioner of the Spanish in the final of the 2019 World Championship The Czechs have six points like Martín's and will have their option on the same Sunday against Brazil.


–RESULT: CZECH REPUBLIC, 30 – SPAIN, 22. (13-9, at halftime).


REPUBLIC OF CHEC: Kudlackova (P), Novotona (P); Striskova, Sustackova (2), Desortova, Stellnerova (1), Kuxova (1), Julie Frankova (1), Anna Frankova, Dresslerova, Zachova (2), Kovarova, Jerabkova (9), Mala (7), Jestribkova, Cholevova (8).

SPAIN: Zoqbi (P), Castellanos (P); M.González, Arderius (1), So Delgado, Pérez Buforn (6), Tchaptchet, Echeverría (1), Fernández, Arcos (3), Sole López (4), González de Garibay, L.González, Gassama (2) , Marta López (3), O'Mullony, Campos (1), Somaza (1).

–PARTIALS EVERY FIVE MINUTES: 1-1, 4-2, 5-5, 8-6, 9-8, 13-9, –rest–, 16-11, 19-13, 20-16, 22 -17, 25-19, 30-22.

–REFEREES: Mads Hansen (DEN) and Jesper Madsen (DEN). Dresslerova and Mala were excluded for two minutes by the Czech Republic.

–PAVILLION: Arena Nord of Fredrikshavn (Denmark).