Gaber’s last-second goal saves point for Slovenia

22 Jan. 2021

Gaber’s last-second goal saves point for Slovenia

Similar to their previous match against Belarus, Sweden let the victory slip out of their hands, conceding a goal from Slovenia in the dying seconds.

Following today’s 28:28 draw, Sweden have six points, just as many as Egypt, while Slovenia and the Russian Handball Federation Team are tied on five points.

In this entertaining group, the quarter-finalists will be determined in two direct duels between the contenders, as Sweden will face Russian Handball Federation, and Slovenia are set to play Egypt on Sunday. 

Slovenia vs Sweden 28:28 (14:15) 

“We played against a good team with good players who were taking good decisions, so it was difficult. Overall, we did well, and even if we led until the last second, one point is okay,” Sweden’s coach Glenn Solberg said after the match. 

Sweden’s right back Linus Persson needed medical help already in the first minute after a hard challenge from Darko Cingesar. However, he was able to continue the game and scored three goals by the 12th minute, inspiring his team to a 4:1 lead.

A string of goals by Jure Dolenec kept Slovenia within fighting distance, but then Hampus Wanne’s attacking effort helped Sweden to increase the gap to 11:6.

Ljubomir Vranjes, Slovenia’s Swedish-born coach, called for a time-out, and it worked as his team started to catch up. Following a 6:2 spell, the Balkan team closed the gap to 12:13 by the 27th minute, and the sides were still separated by one goal after Miha Zarabec’s goal just before the half-time buzzer (14:15).

Slovenia succeeded in the in chase as Borut Mackovsek drew level at 17:17 four minutes into the second half before Blaz Blagotinsek gave the Balkan team their first lead in the game, 18:17.

Sweden’s 4:0 run put them in front again, and Vranjes again needed a time-out to bring his players back on track.

“We fought back and showed character in this match. I kept telling the players to believe in ourselves and reminded that the game lasts 60 minutes,” Slovenia’s coach said. 

Yet, despite missing some good opportunities to score, Sweden continued to have the upper hand, as Andreas Palicka made some good saves, while young Valter Chrintz was clinical in attack.

Slovenia fought extremely hard, though, and as both teams made a lot of mistakes late in the match, they were level at 27:27 with one minute to go.

Hampus Wanne’s seventh goal in the game could lift Sweden to a win, but just before the buzzer – at 59:59 – Matej Gaber salvaged a point for Slovenia. 

hummel Player of the Match: Jim Gottfridsson, Sweden