Spain beat tender Chile but still doesn’t flow (34-26) | Sports

Erwin Feuchtmann grabs Abel Serdio in a match action.
Erwin Feuchtmann grabs Abel Serdio in a match action.TOMASZ MARKOWSKI (REUTERS)

No one doubted Spain’s pass to the second phase of the World Cup. Second game, second victory and ticket tied. What is in question in this first stretch against lesser rivals are the sensations before the first serious slopes arrive. And those still don’t flow, far from it.

As in the debut last Thursday against Montenegro, a team with more weight, the team was uncomfortable on both sides, unbalanced in defense and, at times, erratic in attack. Chile’s tenderness prevented major scares, but the night gave the team an obvious warning of improvement. The final score (34-26) left more goal difference than game. This Monday (8:30 p.m., Tdp) the Iran coached by Veselin Vujovic awaits him, an appointment in which victory is also taken for granted, but which will require another face.

Without defense there is no party. A 5-0 run midway through the first half (from 6-6 to 11-6) seemed to open a completely downhill duel for Spain, a recreational moment before the curves emerge. Agustín Casado assisted from behind, the outsiders Ferrán Solé and Dani Fernández (MVP in his debut) were unforgiving, and a few minutes before the rookie Abel Serdio had appeared in Krakow with three almost consecutive goals from the pivot. But without legs behind nobody forgives. Neither is a caboose team like Chile. Jordi Ribera’s boys stopped, the protection system cracked and the team led by Aitor Echaburu (Olympic silver medalist in Atlanta 96 with the national team) got back on the game bandwagon: 14-13 when the Spanish coach had to call the he ordered his men before Maqueda, a striker like few others, gave a small stretch at halftime (18-15).

The return from the break confirmed the stony path that awaited the Hispanics in an evening that everyone predicted was comfortable. Solé’s failure, accurate until then, from seven meters symbolized a team against the grain and made it clear that nothing would be easy against the commendable Chile. Failures in attack, turnovers, uncoupled defense and faces of concern in the 40×20 and also on the band. It was not that Spain let go, it is that handball did not flow. Always ahead, but far from breaking the match (23-21 at minute 47). Two cons after recoveries with eight minutes to go and Álex Dujshebaev’s kidney blow gave him a cushion of five goals, and he stuck to those to close a victory with a final make-up that needs improvement. Iran will be the last testing ground before the selection really plays the lentils.

In group B, against which Spain will meet in the second phase, France recorded its second victory (41-23 against Saudi Arabia), as did Slovenia, which shook hosts Poland (23-32), in a serious crisis with another defeat. In the other game of the team’s group, Montenegro beat Iran (34-31).

Spain, 34 – Chile, 26

Spain: Corrals; Solé (5, 3p), Garciandia (-), Serdio (3), Peciña (-), Cañellas (2) and Dani Fernández (5) -initial team- Pérez de Vargas (ps), Maqueda (3), Ángel Fernández (-), Alex Dujshebaev (6), Casado (3), Guardiola (1), Sánchez-Migallón (-), Dani Dujshebaev (2) and Odriozola (4, 2p).

Chili: Olive; Scaramelli (-), Rodrigo Salinas (3p), Emil Feuchtmann (-), Erwin Feuchtmann (8, 5p), Salgado (1) and Frelijj (1) -initial team- Felipe García (ps), Ceballos (-), Delgado (-), Esteban Salinas (1), Illesca (2), Paya (4), Codina (1), Ahumada (4) and Donoso (1).

Marker every five minutes: 2-3, 6-5, 10-6, 12-9, 14-13 and 18-15 (Rest) 19-17, 22-18, 23-20, 26-23, 30-25 and 34-26 (Final).

referees: Emam and Hedaia (EGY). They excluded Casado, Sánchez-Migallón, Delgado, Salgado and Frelijj for two minutes.

Tauron Arena in Krakow (Poland). 2,500 spectators.

Standings and upcoming matches

Group A

Spain, 4 points

Montenegro, 2

Iran, 2

chili, 0

Monday: Iran-Spain (20:30, Tdp) and Montenegro-Chile (18:00)

B Group

Slovenia, 4 points

France, 4

Poland, 0

Saudi Arabia, 0

Monday: Slovenia-France (18:00) and Poland-Saudi Arabia (20:30)

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