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Date: 2/1/2016

The EHF EURO 2016 has come to an end and after a lot of surprises the biggest one are probably the winners of the European Championship: Germany. With some of their top players missing and further injured players during the tournament they were unexpected to win – especially against the experienced Spaniards.


“It was an amazing feeling, it was an amazing match with great defence and (Andreas) Wolff was stunning so Spain had no chance. From the first minute to the last it was an incredible game,” said German goalkeeper Carsten Lichtlein. Spain struggled breaking through the German wall and if they did they had to face the German goalkeeper, the “big bad Wolff” as some called him (48% saved). On the other side, Spain had Arpad Sterbik with an overall saving percentage of 44%. A very low-scoring final was already to be expected with overall only one goal scored after five minutes and that is exactly how it turned out. At the half-time break, Spain had scored only six times, Germany 10 times. And after a surprisingly one-sided game Germany defeated Spain by 24:17, which is the second lowest number of scored goals in a Men’s EHF EURO final.


“It’s a disaster how we played. I don’t have a lot of explanations,” said Rivera. “Everything was bad, defence as attack. We lost balls that we never lose. We missed counter attacks and easy shots. It was a bad day. We gave everything but nothing worked. We have to have a look at this match several times and work so for that never happens again.”


In the end, it was a game of the goalkeepers and thus, both Sterbik and Wolff were awarded player of the match.


Croatia and Norway faced each other in the match for third place. Although the final result indicates a clearly prevailing Croatia team, Norway was able to keep up until the last ten minutes of the game. Both teams started neck-to-neck until Croatia could take advantage of their fast breaks and pulled away. But in contrast to the gold medal match later the evening, a four-goal lead at half-time (15:11) did not mean that Croatia was safe as Norway levelled at 17:17. Afterwards they trailed only by one or two goals. It was only until ten minutes before the final whistle when Norway eventually broke down. “It just wasn't going our way. Their goalkeeper did a good job and their defence was really good. They made it tough for us and they also got some easy goals courtesy of our mistakes,” explained Norway’s line player Magnus Gullerud. With six minutes to go, Norway did not have the strength to close the 5-goal gap (26:21) and lost by 31:24.


2013 World Handball Player of the Year, Domagoj Duvnjak, was awarded player of the match.


With Rio 2016 and France 2017 in sights, Germany booked their tickets to the Olympic Games and the World Championship. Spain, Croatia and Norway will compete in the Olympic Qualification Tournaments in April 2016 and as runners-up and 3rd-ranked, Spain and Croatia also clinched their berth for France 2017.


Results final day:

NOR-CRO 24:31

GER-ESP 24:17


Final Standings:

1. GER 9. RUS

2. ESP 10. BLR


4. NOR 12. HUN

5. FRA 13. ISL

6. DEN 14. SLO

7. POL 15. SRB

8. SWE 16. MNE