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News Details

Date: 7/30/2017

Spain claimed their first ever IHF Junior World Championship title after an incredible 70-minute battle, which ended with goalkeeper Xoan Ledo saving every shot in the last three minutes of extra time and Daniel Dujshebaev scoring the game-winning goal. 

Spain have never stood on top of the Junior World Championship podium in either gender, and ended the long wait for a trophy in this age group after winning every match in their #Algeria2017 campaign. The victory comes one year after Spain claimed the European title in the 1996 generation at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2016. 

“This is something incredible, we won in such an epic way. We are in a dream right now,” said Daniel Dujshebaev after the match, continuing with praise of his teammate, goalkeeper Xoan Ledo. “He is the best goalkeeper of the World Championship. He played an incredible tournament. He has been playing like this for two years…He was amazing! 

“Our defence is impressive. Today it was harder than usual. Their attack was phenomenal and fortunately in the last minutes we managed to do things right and it was unbelievable. 

“This is so big. Now I don’t even want to think about it! I’m just enjoying. This is a dream we had since last year. 

“Isidoro [Martinez] was the main architect of this. With him we won these last two years, he guided us very well, so I congratulate him and thank him for everything.”

For Denmark it is the sixth silver medal at the event, and the second consecutive time they have finished as runners-up after they lost the final to France in 2015. 

Final: Denmark vs Spain 38:39 (34:34)(16:18)

Spain scored the opening three goals before Denmark found the back of the net, and the slow start left the Scandinavian side fighting to close the deficit through the first quarter. At the 10-minute mark Spain were in front 6:4, and the goals were coming in from all positions as neither team’s defence found a way to stop the high-quality attack against them. 

Denmark played a man down as All-star line player Magnus Saugstrup received a two-minute suspension in the 14th with his team just one goal behind at that stage (7:8), but thanks to goalkeeper Simon Gade the Scandinavian team managed to keep Spain from capitalising on the numerical advantage. The score stayed the same and as Denmark regained full strength, they also equalised at 8:8 just as the half passed midway. 

Spain’s fast-paced attack soon helped them reopen a two-goal advantage at 14:12. Denmark coach Morten Henriksen responded with a time-out, after which Spain goalkeeper – who was named in the All-star team for his position earlier that day – saved a penalty against the MVP of the tournament Lasse Moeller. 

As the clock reached 25 minutes Denmark had changed to a 5-1 defensive system, which caused significant problems for Spain’s back court, while at the other end of the court they decreased the deficit to 14:15. Left wing Lasse Nikolajsen levelled the score at 15:15 with three minutes left till the half-time buzzer, but it was Spain who had the last say with a perfectly-placed shot from centre back Juan De La Pena that pulled them in front by two seconds before the whistle. 

Spain opened the second half stronger, pulling ahead to a three-goal advantage they held through to the 40th minute, at which point Denmark came chasing. In the 42nd minute Moeller won the penalty contest against Ledo, closing the score line to one at 23:24. One minute later the Denmark equalised at 25:25. 

Earlier in the match it appeared Martinez was making some interesting decisions with his line-up, as the likes of All-star right wing Aleix Gomez and starting left wing Jaime Fernandez sat on the bench – but in the final 10 minutes his tactic became clear as they re-entered the court for the crucial stage of the match, showcasing the depth of Spain’s squad. 

Nothing could separate the teams, and the last 60 seconds began with Spain in possession and the score locked at 33:33. Just like in the bronze-medal match before it, the attempt on goal from Gomez hit the post. But unlike Germany in the three/four game, Denmark did not fail on their attempt in the last 30 seconds, and Saugstrup took the score to 34:33 before Martinez called a time-out. Spain entered the court in attack with just over 10 seconds left and an additional attacker, and Gomez was the hero as he converted an in-flight goal that levelled. 

Denmark had a last-second attempt on goal that resulted in a penalty, and this time it was Ledo who came out on top in the contest with Moeller, sending the match into extra time with his incredible ability to save the most important shots against him. 

The first period of extra time ended with a level 36:36 score. In the second period of five minutes, Denmark pulled ahead to 38:37, before Ledo made a save that stopped them increasing that advantage, and De La Pena equalised in the next attack. Three consecutive saves from Ledo kept Denmark out of the goal in the last two minutes, leaving space to Dujshebaev to score a long-range goal that won the match. 

“I saw there was no goalkeeper and though here I have to throw once again and fortunately it went in,” said Dujshebaev of his shot, before commenting on what he thought after it went in: “I said, ‘Oh how much time is left? Only 10 seconds! We need to defend this last one. The first thing I though was that we were going to win.”