Blood-curdling European Handball Championship final

by Lorraine Williamson
European Handball Championships

After a blistering final in which record holder Sweden took on defending champions Spain for the second time this European Handball Championship, the Swedes proved too strong. The game was decided in the last minute by a penalty which Sweden gratefully took advantage of. 

The last victory of the Swedes probably dated from 2002, yet Sweden was the record holder with four European titles. During the final, the Swedes faced the Spaniards as reigning European champions. This was extra exciting for the Swedes as they had been defeated by the Spaniards 32-28 earlier in the tournament. 

Blood-curdling European Handball Championship final between Sweden and Spain 

On Sunday it was exciting throughout the game between Spain and Sweden. Both countries did not give each other an inch and halfway through, Spain was even ahead 12-13. After the break, the Swedes seemed slightly stronger, but the country did not manage to create a huge lead over the fanatical Spaniards. 

Sweden-Spain final decided by penalty throw 

It was nerve-wracking right up to the last minute. Just before the final whistle, it was 26-26 between the two countries. The decision only came in the last minute when Sweden was awarded a penalty. The cold-blooded Ekberg took advantage of this opportunity and thanks to his goal, Sweden took the lead with 27-26 20 seconds before the end. 

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Spain kept fighting for a chance of a draw until the last seconds, but their hard work was to no avail. After the final whistle, Sweden took the European title for the fifth time. For the Spaniards, it was extra sour to see the title pass them by in the last seconds, knowing that they had only recently won against the Swedes. 

Denmark takes bronze at European Handball Championship

After this loss, Spain has to settle for silver. Denmark took third place during this tournament. After the extra time, the Danes proved stronger than opponent France, who finished fourth. 

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