20220709

Spain beat Romania to lift W16 European Open trophy

20221106 AH 3577 2 EHF / Adrian Costeiu

A 17-team line-up was at the start of the Women’s 16 European Open 2022, with powerhouses like Norway, France, Spain, and Romania all eyeing the title secured by Hungary in 2018, when the tournament first switched to an under-16 event.

Spain have become the dominant winners of the W16 European Open on Friday night. A 29:19 victory over Romania in the final completed their flawless run of seven straight wins. Apart from one game (against Switzerland, 17:14), Spain won all their matches by at least a seven-goal margin.

With teams divided into three groups of four and one group of five sides in the preliminary round, high quality handball was produced. The two winners of the main round groups – Spain and Romania, the only sides to go unbeaten – reached the final in Gothenburg on Friday evening.

  • Spain cruised to a 29:19 win to lift the trophy for the first time, while Romania improved from their 2018 bronze medal by finishing runners-up this time
  • just like Hungary in 2018, and for the fifth time in total at the European Open, a team won the tournament by sweeping their opponents on the way to the gold medal
  • Spain recorded wins against the Czech Republic (17:10), Switzerland (17:14), and Finland (23:15) in the preliminary round, and against Portugal (18:9), Norway (25:15) and Poland (22:12) in the main round
  • in the final, Spain left Romania with no chance, taking a 16:7 lead at the break, as Laura Cecilia Urban and Marta Regordan Silva combined for 11 of their team’s 29 goals
  • Romania had been unbeaten, with five wins and a draw, coming into the final
  • both finalists had two players named in the All-star Team
  • in the bronze medal game, France outscored Norway 31:18
  • Slovenia’s Tea Pogorelc was the tournament’s top scorer with 57 goals, followed by Switzerland’s Lenka Simova with 53 and France’s Claire Koestner with 41; Koestner was awarded MVP of the tournament
  • after dominating the European Open in its previous format for first six editions, no Scandinavian team has won a medal since the format changed to W16 in 2018

Defence lifts Spain past other contenders

Spain have usually been one of the toughest teams to score against in women’s handball in the past two decades and this is obviously something the players learn from a young age. At the Women’s 16 European Open, the little ‘Guerreras’ conceded only 94 goals in seven matches, or an average of 13.4 goals per game.

Sure, the performance is impressive just looking at the numbers, but put in context, it is clear why Spain translate this success from a generation to other. And it is also a performance that signals a comeback of sorts, after Spain failed to light up the competition at the previous editions of the Women’s 17 EHF EURO and the Women’s 19 EHF EURO.

Credits also go to Romania, who continue to produce a talented generation after another. They delivering their best performance in the competition so far, while also relying on the defence.

Defence lifts Spain past other contenders

Spain have usually been one of the toughest teams to score against in women’s handball in the past two decades and this is obviously something the players learn from a young age. At the Women’s 16 European Open, the little ‘Guerreras’ conceded only 94 goals in seven matches, or an average of 13.4 goals per game.

Sure, the performance is impressive just looking at the numbers, but put in context, it is clear why Spain translate this success from a generation to other. And it is also a performance that signals a comeback of sorts, after Spain failed to light up the competition at the previous editions of the Women’s 17 EHF EURO and the Women’s 19 EHF EURO.

Credits also go to Romania, who continue to produce a talented generation after another. They delivering their best performance in the competition so far, while also relying on the defence.

Women’s 16 European Open 2022 All-star Team:

Goalkeeper – Ioana Nita (ROU)
Left wing – Alexia Maria Nita (ROU)
Left back – Hanna Lundvall (SWE)
Centre back – Marta Regordan Silva (ESP)
Line player – Kelly Nnonzie Fonkeng Mfotiog (ESP)
Right back – Maud Horvers (NED)
Right wing – Dawiya Abdou (FRA)

Best defender – Maia Matre Hagenes (NOR)

Top scorer – Tea Pogolerc (SLO), 57 goals

MVP – Claire Koestner (FRA)

Final standings:

Gold – Spain
Silver – Romania
Bronze – France
4th – Norway
5th – Poland
6th – Netherlands
7th – Sweden
8th – Czech Republic

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