Handball: Spain sinks Norway in quarter-final thriller at world championship

Norway had led with 19 seconds left before a late Spanish rally during the IHF Handball World Championship on Jan 25. PHOTO: REUTERS

SOPOT, Poland - Spain men’s handball team beat Norway 35-34 in extra-time to seal their spot in the last four of the IHF 2023 World Championship in Sopot, Poland on Wednesday.

The fans who came to Ergo Arena’s stands on Wednesday evening watched a thrilling game. Norway was in front 25-24 and they had a ball in possession with 19 seconds to go but they fumbled their chance to close the game.

Spanish left back Daniel Dujshebaev then found an equalizer to take the game to extra time. Left winger Angel Fernandez scored eight for Spain on the night but it was the goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas who turned out to be the hero for the winners after Jordi Ribera’s side took the lead 35-34.

Kristian Bjornsen, who scored nine goals, could have extended it to penalty shootout but his effort was saved by Perez de Vargas who took his team to the best four of the tournament.

In the second evening match at Ergo Arena in Sopot, France smashed Germany 35-28.

After the first half it was a draw 16-16 on the scoreboard but then Guillaume Gille’s team turned the pace to seal their place in the semifinals. On Friday Spain will play for the final against Denmark, while France will battle against Sweden.

The final is scheduled for Sunday and it will be played in Stockholm, Sweden. XINHUA

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