It was a great ending to the tournament, despite the hosts Croatia were not taking part of it. Spain took the title of the European champion for the first time in their history. They defeated Sweden, who could still be very proud of their overall performance. France took the bronze by beating Denmark earlier in the day in Arena Zagreb.
Spain started the final quite slow and Sweden was definitely the better team. It resulted with a 14:12 lead at half-time. Despite the first 30 minutes suggested that Sweden might take the gold, something happened in the Spanish changing room and they looked like a different team in the second half. They conceded just 3 goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half, playing terrific defense with the legendary Arpad Sterbik in charge of it with 8 saves in total. 8 turnovers more and poor and inefficient offensive play in the second half made the difference overall, and Sweden was unable to pull a comeback that late in the match. Balaguer and Sole both scored 5 goals for Spain, with Entrerrios, Alex Dujshebaev and Arino all adding 4. The final result was 29:23. Congratulations to our SEHA Spaniards: Sterbik, Canellas and Dujshebaev for the historic gold, but also to all the other Spanish players!
Before the final match, France defeated Denmark to take another medal at the big stage! This time it was not gold, but a bronze is still a nice reward for all the hard work. Nikola Karabatic was fantastic with 9 goals, but Mahe, Sorhaindo and Abalo all played a crucial role in this match, each of them recording 5 goals. Hans Lindberg was the most effective player with 12 goals. Overall, it was a great duel between the Olympic and World champions, but France came out more successful this time.
Bronze medal match: France- Denmark 32:29 (17:14)
Final match: Spain- Sweden 29:23 (12:14)