Spain defeats Slovakia 25-19 at Centro Insular, but it does not confirm the qualification for Women’s Handball World Championship in Denmark/ Mangué, Martín and Cabral, the main scorers
LA PROVINCIA / LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA, 8 June 2015
One mission: to conquer the qualification to Women’s Handball World Championship in Denmark, at the Centro Insular de Deportes (CID) battle field, packed with people nearly up to the Spanish and Slovak flags that were flying next to the electronic scoreboard. There they were, las Guerreras [the Warriors], ready to overcome Slovak squadron and to put the qualification on the right track. Spanish National female handball squad defeated Slovakia 25-19, with an outstanding performance of Rocasa goalkeeper, Silvia Navarro, Canarian Marta Mangué, Almeriense Carmen Martín and Spanish Portuguese Alexandrina Cabral, the main scorers of the match with six goals each. Jorge Dueñas’s players could get the qualification, whose return match will be held next Sunday in Slovakia, when they were nine goals ahead (25-16), after a powerful right-handed shot of Canarian Panter Mangué, the Fleury Loiret player. However some defensive gifts in the second half cut down the advantage to six points for the return match at Mestská Sportova Hall in Sala.
CID castle, former basket Herbalife Gran Canaria’s home, was on fire with over 2.000 people cheering the Spaniards before the match. At first, it seemed to be a simple one, but two significant things were at stake: to get through the Women’s World Championship in Denmark next Christmas and the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
Not only did several local and national TV channels witness the event, but also foreign media such as Slovak news agency SITA
Jorge Dueñas’s team kicked off the match a bit asleep and hesitating. It took Las Guerreras a bit to warm up their weapons and they did not take advantage of the first Slovak turnover of Dusan Poloz’s players, that started aggressively, and they were punished by the referees, who showed yellow card to Dubajova, after a strong action against Spanish captain Mangué. Colossal goalkeeper Silvia Navarro took out her shelter in the battle to make two saves and right winger Carmen Martín opened the scoring at Centro Insular with a left-handed shot, unreachable to Slovak goalkeeper Gubikova.
Rocasa Gran Canaria goalkeeper Silvia Navarro made so many colossal saves
But Slovak players reacted quickly with Jakuvisova’s goal, best enemy scorer with 5. The first part of the match was based on a tug-of-war and a hectic pace at the beginning, defensive errors and also in the attack, which stopped both national teams from taking advantage. Tinerfeña Eli Chávez, Gran Canaria María Núñez and Vasque Eli Pinedo were so monitored by the Slovak defense, that nearly overshadowed their movements and covered the passing line with their pivot. Cabral and Aguilar led the game, but the match kept still at 10-9 in favor of Spaniards. Then Hornakova’s goal woke Spanish warriors up with two points ahead at the end of the first period.
In the second half, Jorge Dueñas girls adjusted the defense much better and began to spear Gubikova’s net. Thanks to the accurate shots of Mangué, Cabral and Aguilar, Spain scored 25-16, but Slovaquia got closer at the end with 0-3, but insufficient.
Spanish National Coach
“The defensive mistakes made us hesitate”
Spanish national female handball team coach Jorge Dueñas, affirmed that “in the first half” they were “out of place in defense”, which made them hesitate a lot and conceded so many goals. But in the second half, Dueñas indicates that they rectified, but he admitted they did not manage to “keep focused to take a wider advantage” to Slovakia.
“It’s been very special and I wish we could return to Gran Canaria”
Canarian captain of Spanish national female handball team Marta Mangué, expressed her joy to come back to the island. “My family and all my friends from my childhood were at the venue, so I’m very happy. It’s been very special and I wish we could return to Gran Canaria to enjoy more matches with the Spanish national squad”, French Fleury Loiret Right back underlined. La Pantera was one of the main scorers of the match, with six goals.
Spanish team goalkeeper
“Canary Islands is my home away from home, I love it and its people”
Her saves made the audience in the CID stand up. Valencia goalkeeper of Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE and Spanish national team Silvia Navarro highlighted the performance of the team as a whole. “The team has been amazing, it might have been a bit tough for us at the beginning to follow the game pace, but we eventually won and it’s always fantastic with this audience. This is my home away from home, I love Canary Islands and its people”, asserted.
Navarro, a safe bet in the defense. Valencia-born goalkeeper of Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE Silvia Navarro locked Spanish goalposts up with her myriad saves against Slovakia.
Cabral, a gazelle to attack. The sweeping power of left back Alexandrina Cabral was the key in some Spaniard attacks. The Spanish-Portuguese player scored six goals.
CID fortress. Centro Insular de Deportes became a fortress for the Spaniards. Over 2.000 people continuously cheered las Guerreras [the Warriors].
Spain 25 Slovakia 19
Spain: Navarro, Cabral (6), Mangué (6), Elorza, Pinedo (1), Martín (6) y Chávez (1) -initial team-, Alonso, Pena (3), Egozkue (1), Fernández (1), Aguilar, González, Rodríguez, Núñez y Zoqbi. Slovakia: Gubikova, Sukennikova (2), Jakubisova (5), Skolkova (3), Trehubova (3), Bizikova y Hornakova (3) -initial team-, Czanik, Rebicova, Rajnohova, Benuskova (3), Dubajova, Tothova, Michnova, Minarcikova y Medvedova. Referees: Miklos Andorka and Robert Hucker (Hungary) showed yellow card to local Pinedo, Núñez, Cabral, and visitor Skolkova, Jakubisova y Dubajova, and expelled local Elorza and Cabral, and visitor Hornakova, Rajnohova and Trehubova.
Remarks: at Centro Insular de Deportes de Gran Canaria, in front of 2.000 people. Spanish Handball Federation bestowed a bunch of flowers on Vasque right-back Bera Bera Patricia Elorza, for her match 100th as international player.