Antequera will decide everything

After a timeout, and with 25 seconds to go, Austria attacked. And he scored to tie (28-28), close the score and leave everything up in the air. Antequera will decide the future of the Guerreras, unable to take advantage in the first leg of a crucial tie. Spain needs to overcome it to be in the World Championship in Denmark, Norway and Swedenwhich will take place during the next months of November and December, and to earn the right to be in the 2024 Olympic Games. After the ninth place of the Selection in the Europeans, the pupils of José Ignacio Prades need to be, at least, seventh in the aforementioned World Cup. If they don’t, they won’t be in Paris. Cabals that are far away. For now, it’s time to focus on the present, which is not a minor thing.

On one side of the track, the Guerreras remained, conspiring in the face of the vital commitment that they will have to face next Wednesday at the Fernando Argüelles Sports Center (20:45); in the other, there was Austria, celebrating the tie as if it were a victory. For a good part of the game, it was a defeat for him and a victory for Spain, which was coming out strongly in Südstadt. With a 2-6 run, the National Team gained momentum in a house-brand first half, defined by defense and precise counterattacks. Good Jennifer Gutiérrez (4 goals at the end) and very good Kaba Gassama (5) and Shandy Barbosa (5), powerful. Always in command, Prades’ men went into the break with a valuable 14-18 in favor; after him, came the disconnection.

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A talisman to believe

The defense disappeared, the success was stirred, the losses increased (10) and Austria, through Frey, Reichert, Kovacs and a 5-2 run, began to believe it. With 21-21, he completely believed it. Petra Blazek, under sticks, unhinged the Spanish. Prades, with a face of circumstances, asked for a time out. “If we have reached this situation it is because we have had a phase of many errors at launch and we are letting them get in. We need much more forcefulness in defense and be much more together. Aid is not arriving, you have to get together so that it arrives. And, above, we need a little more fluidity, ”she snapped. The harangue had no effect. If the Warriors want to be in their 11th World Cup, their 8th in a row, they will have to squeeze in Antequera, home of good memories. Spain closed its place there in 2017 and 2019. It is time to repeat.


28 – Austria: Blazek; Wess (-), Katarina Pandza (3), Kaiser (3), Ines Ivancok (4), Kovacs (7, 3p) and Neidhart (2) -initial team- Lena Ivancok (ps), Frey (5, 1p), Schindler (-), Reichert (4), Dramac (-), Gschwentner (-), Kampelmühler-Rink (-), Sabatnig (-) and Ana Pandza (-).

28 – Spain: Castilians; Etxeberria (2), Alicia Fernández (3, 2p), Campos (2), Arcos (1), Jennifer Gutiérrez (4, 1p) and Gassama (5) -initial team- Wiggins (ps), Marta López (2), Arrojeria (-), Eli Cesáreo (2), González de Garibay (2), Valero (-), Mbengue (-), Tchaptchet (-) and Barbosa (5).

Scoreboard every five minutes: 2-2, 4-5, 5-9, 7-12, 10-15 and 14-18 (Rest) 18-20, 20-21, 23-23, 24-26, 26-28 and 28-28 ( Final).

Referees: Antic and Jakovljevic (SRB). The Spanish player Eli Cesáreo (m.16) was sent off with a direct red card. In addition, they excluded Kovacs, Frey, Kaiser and Katarina Pandza for Austria by two minutes; and Eli Cesáreo, Campos, Tchaptchet and Alicia Fernández for Spain.

Incidents: First leg of the qualifying round for the 2023 World Cup in Denmark, Norway and Sweden played in the BSFZ Südstadt pavilion in Maria Enzersdorf (Austria) in front of 1,500 spectators.

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