Spain win Men's 20 EHF EURO 2016Article
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NEWS REPORT: Spain claimed gold at the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2016 with a thrilling 30:29 win against Germany after extra time. Bronze went to France who beat Croatia 35:30

Spain win Men's 20 EHF EURO 2016

Spain are Europe's new under 20 champions after they beat Germany, the winners of the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2014, 30:29 after extra time in Kolding on Sunday night.

Just hours before France, the winners of the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2014 and the Youth World Championship 2015, won bronze by beating Croatia 35:30. By reaching the final Spain as well as Germany claimed a direct qualification for the Men's Junior World Championship 2017.

Germany had already needed extra time in their 35:33 semi-final win against France on Friday, but on Sunday they did not leave the court victorious.

Spain's best scorer was once again Dani Dujshebaev with 10 goals; for Germany it was Franz Semper who led his team's score chart with six goals.

The spectators at the Sydbank Arena saw a stronger Spanish side in the first half that led 12:9 after 30 minutes of play. However, Germany bounced back in the second.

They even were in possession of the ball at 25:25 with less than one minute left on the clock, but Semper was denied in attack and Spain missed a big chance to decide the game in their favour.

Two goals were scored on both ends of the court in the first half of extra time (27:27), but in the final five minutes Spain scored two in a row to lead 29:27 - both shots went into the empty German goal who had substituted their goalkeeper for the extra-man advantage.

It was the decisive lead in this thrilling final for Spain who celebrated gold shortly afterwards and two years after they had won bronze at the Men's 18 EHF EURO.

Bronze for France, All-stars awarded

France, the dominating team of this generation that had won the Men's 18 EHF EURO 2014 and the Youth World Championship 2015, had to be satisfied with bronze this time around.

However, their match for third place against Croatia was another impressive performance - also embodied by the fact that they did not need any timeout.

At half-time France already led 18:12, after 60 minutes they had cruised to a 35:30 win.

In the two other matches on Sunday, Norway came fifth by beating Denmark 36:35 after extra time and Iceland came seventh by winning their placement game against Poland.

At the end of the tournament best players were named into the All-star team. Xoan Menendez was named best goalkeeper, Lukas Mertens became best left wing. Dani Dujshebaev was awarded as best left back, Germany's captain Tim Suton became the best centre back.

Marin Sipic from Croatia was named best line player, Dika Mem from France became the best right back and Iceland's Odinn Thor Rikhardsson was the best right wing.

Last but not least Nikolaj Laeso Christensen became the tournament's best defender.

TEXT: EHF / ts