Our handballers are coming back again with great news from the just finished European Beach handball championship, held last weekend in Espinho, Portugal.
Men's team Detono Zagreb have defended European title with dominant play in final against German team Waterboys Neerstedt.
After semi-final in the morning against Greek representitive Panetolikos Acropolis and easy vicotry 2:0, Croats went to the finals where team from Germany was expecting them after their's semi-final against second Croatian team, Chemo profili Zagreb. Germans were the only one who took a set from Detono Zagreb in all matches played in Portugal so far, so Croatian team was going into the finals with maximum approach and special emphasis to defence. Shallow defense with 3 players in line was the key factor for winning the first set with a big difference in points because it didn't let German players to heat and show everything they know. In second set Germans have changed player on marker position so have Croats changed their defense system and with mobility, lot of blocks and ofcourse with a lot of help from excellent goalkeeper Totić, Detono Zagreb have build up a 6 point advantage in last minute, so the Croatian celebration could commence.
Before final matches for the 3rd place were played, Croatia had it's representative in men's category. After loss in semis, Chemo profili Zagreb had a not easy task to come back mentaly for the match and then try to win the bronze medal. Fortunately they were up to it, first set was played perfectly, with a minimum of turnovers and high level of realisations. Second set wasn't a lot different so all that led to another medal for Croatian Beach handball. In this match (as well as in the whole tournament) we should excerpt Emil Golić with 100% shot efficiency and great role as central men in defense, goalkeepers tandem Jugović-Čiča were admirable through out the entire tournament and have saved their team-mates many times.
Congratulations to all players on spirited play and deserved medals. Compliments as well to women team, if girls had just a little more luck they could have been in semi-final (2 losses on shoot out), but 5th place is also a good result. This is a grat success for Croatia, because beside the medals, with this title Croatia has a guaranteed place on next Masters. I have to say that this Masters was organized perfectly, so all the compliments to the organizators and spectators as well (around 1500 was watching almost every game) because they made with thir cheering a really good atmosphere. This was a great experience and I'm sure it will stay in hearts of all participants. – Nevena Krajcar, trip director and the 'brain' of the entire Croatian expedition.
Detono Zagreb- Panetolikos Acropolis: 2-0
Waterboys Neerstedt- Chemo profili Zagreb: 2-0
3. Mjesto : Panetolikos Acropolis- Chemo profili Zagreb: 0-2
Final: Detono Zagreb- Waterboys Neerstedt: 2:0
In women category Swiss team Playadettes Luzern have won their first European champion title by overcoming Spain team from Malaga in thrilling final shoot out. This is first medal for Swiss Beach handball in general and we have to say it is more than deserved because Switzerland have started to invest in Beach handball (halls, lot of tournaments) and now it is paying off.