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Atletico Madrid reach the final after fierce battle

kire 31 08 2012

Like in 2010 and 2011 Atletico Madrid (former name Ciudad Real) have reached the final of the IHF Super Globe in Doha, Qatar. After a hectic and fierce final stage with a long interruption after both teams had stormed the field, the Spaniards took the nail-biting victory against host Al-Sadd thanks to a last second goal of Julen Aguinagalde.

Al-Sadd - Atletico Madrid 32:33 (19:18)

The halftime result of 19:18 exactly reflects the run-down of the first 30 minutes: Al-Sadd was lightly better than their opponent. Led by Nikola Karabatic, who did not only score a huge number of goals, but inspired his team with brilliant passes, the IHF Super Globe host showed a stunning attack performance. Both teams did not focus that much on their defence, like 37 goals in 30 minutes point out. But Atletico Madrid was on an equal level.

polufinale 1

After the 2011 finalist had started with an opening 3:0 series, they could not prevent the Al-Sadd goals, as their defence was unusual open. But thanks to their shooters like Kiril Lazarov they even could turn a three goals backlog to a quite equal result at the break. The saves of goalkeeper Jose Hombrados boosted the confidence of the Spaniards in the second half, and as the match was on the edge, the defence actions became fiercely and tougher. When Al-Sadd were with two players less on the court - including Karabatic, who was suspended for the second time -, Madrid took the lead for the first time after the starting phase at 24:23 in minute 44.

polufinale 2

And due to this defence-orientation of both sides the number of goals rapidly decreased compared to the first half. And as Al-Sadd did only rotate their left wing player and kept their Montpellier professionals constantly on the court, they were running out of energy. In contrast, Madrid coach Talant Dushebajew had a big number of well-balanced options and alternatives on the bench. And in the middle of the second half they took the profit of this advantage - and the saves of Hombrados -by forging ahead to 27:24 in minute 49, causing an Al-Sadd time-out, and later-on to 29:25. But the host clutched at their last straw.

polufinale 3

Despite their low energies they put enormous pressure on the Atletico attackers with two man-to-man defenders, forcing errors in the Spanish team. In only three minutes Al-Sadd were back on track at 29:30, when William Accambray hit the net by a penalty shot. And the final 90 seconds became full of adrenaline and emotions: First Aguinagalde scored for the 32:30. Madrid failed in their next attack against Al-Sadd goalkeeper Primoz Prost, Accambray equalized 23 seconds before the end. But with the final whistle Aguinagalde hit the net for 33:32 to confirm the third straight IHF Super Globe final for his club.