Spain could not take even a minute off in its World Cup debut against Montenegro, the rival with the greatest crumb in the first phase but whom everyone considered defeated from the start against the runner-up in Europe. Without showing off, the team could not get rid of the Balkans until the final moments, although always with the feeling that the match had them by the chest. The production of Branko Vujovic first in attack (six goals without a miss at the beginning of the second half) and the growth of his goal Nebojsa Simic after the break (nine saves after the restart) only served to delay a sung surrender.
Idle victory in Krakow for Jordi Ribera’s boys, who will meet Chile this Saturday and Iran on Monday (both at 8:30 p.m. and on Teledeporte), two lesser-ranked teams (the Asians defeated the South Americans in the afternoon 24-25) before the slope really gets steep in the second round of the tournament. France and, most likely, Slovenia and hosts Poland would appear on the horizon.
The first Spaniard who stretched the team was under the sticks: Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas (MVP of the night with 10 interventions). Without the need for any exhibition, the Toledo player left several stretches that helped his team to leave the first signs of the debut, which started with a 2-4 loss. Ribera quickly moved the defensive device and resorted to the 5:1 system for minute five with Álex Dujshebaev first and then Kauldi Odriozola in the advanced position. The effects weren’t dazzling, but they were enough for the Hispanics to take positions and stretch their legs on some counters.
Ángel Fernández struck from the far left, Adrià Figueras in the pivot (three goals without a miss, both until half-time), Odriozola contributed cutting back and production up front (two goals), and so Spain withdrew into the break with an income of three up (15-12) who had been four a while before.
The evening for Spain did not go beyond that difference of four goals until the last minute of the clash against a Montenegro that, despite their losses (18), did not stop making the rubber. The team was able to break the game early in the second half, but also committed several losses in a row in very frank actions and, for dessert, found Simic’s rise. The score was squeezed to 18-17 in the 42nd minute.
Instantly, Spain caught air with a 3-0 run thanks to a moment of superiority as Montenegro withdrew the goalkeeper in attack (21-17 in minute 43), but that was not enough to get rid of a sticky rival either. His lack of finesse in attack did not help him and Simic did the rest. Álex Dujshebaev, in alliance with Tarrafeta, took responsibility for offensive operations, Odriozola did not miss from seven meters and Ángel Fernández continued his work from the wing. Enough to keep his first rival in the World Cup at bay, but not to finally finish him off until almost the final honk.
Spain, 30 – Montenegro, 25
Spain: Perez de Vargas (1); Solé (1), Garciandia (2), Guardiola (-), Peciña (-), Dani Dujshebaev (4) and Ángel Fernández (5) —initial team—; Corrales (ps), Maqueda (1), Alex Dujshebaev (4), Figueras (3), Casado (-), Tarrafeta (3), Sánchez-Migallón (-), Odriozola (6, 3p) and Dani Fernández (-) .
Montenegro: Nebojsa Simic (2); Radovic (-), Branko Vujovic (7), Andjelic (1), Cepic (1), Milos Vujovic (2p) and Grbovic (3) —initial team—; Matovic (ps), Bakic (1), Lazovic (2), Kaludjerovic (-), Stefan Vujovic (1), Sevaljevic (-), Bozovic (3), Lasica (2) and Vujacic (-).
Marker every five minutes: 3-4, 5-4, 7-7, 10-8, 13-10 and 15-12 (rest); 17-14, 18-16, 21-19, 24-21, 27-23 and 30-25.
referees: Brunner and Salah (Sui). Alex Dujshebaev, Maqueda, Sánchez Migallón, Peciña, Cepic, Grbovic (2), Bozovic and Lazovic were excluded for two minutes.
Tauron Arena, Krakow. About 700 spectators.
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