15 January 2017
11 of Sweden’s squad contribute to a commanding 18-goal victory against Argentina in round two.
Group D at the 25th Men’s Handball World Championship is turning into a Scandinavian show as both Denmark and Sweden are now on two wins from two matches – and two commanding victories at that. Sweden added their second two points on Sunday when they defeated Argentina by 18 goals, and coach Kristjan Andresson used every member of his team to do it.
Group D: Argentina vs Sweden 17:35 (11:16)
Argentina took an early lead at 3:2 after five minutes, and maintained their edge with Federico Fernandez earning them a two-goal advantage at 5:3 when Sweden’s Jesper Nielsen was out on a suspension. The momentum early on was all with the Pan American team, who attacked with speed and precision, but it was not long before Sweden claimed the upper hand.
Just before the 10-minute mark Sweden goalkeeper, Andreas Palicka, saved a penalty from Pablo Portela, and his team made the most of his work to close the gap back to one at 5:4. The Scandinavian side levelled the score with a fast-break goal from Mattias Zachrisson, then took the lead less than a minute later thanks to another – this time scored by 21-year-old Jerry Tollbring.
Argentina switched to a 5-1 defensive system, but it did little to trouble Sweden and midway through the half they were well in control at 9:6, with three of those goals courtesy of Tollbring.
By the 20-minute mark Sweden had pulled further in front to 12:8, and the distance stayed at four as Argentina keeper Matias Schulz saved a penalty off Tollbring five minutes later. Schulz’s save inspired Argentina to make the most of a second suspension for Nielsen, and they decreased the score line to three at 11:14 in the next attack.
Schulz stopped Sweden’s next attempt as well, but his team did not convert the work into a goal, which left the gate open for the Scandinavian side to reclaim the four-goal gap with a great set-up into line player Andreas Nilsson.
Jesper Nielsen received his third two-minute suspension a few minutes into the second period, and with it came a red card, but Sweden were unphased with a commanding lead they would only continue to increase. Even a direct disqualification for Fredric Pettersson in the 40th minute could not hurt their chances, as the Scandinavian side hit a nine-goal advantage by that point, and it was clear Argentina would need something spectacular to come back from such a deficit.
With five minutes left Sweden were 16 goals in front, and Argentina could only try to maintain the difference as the final buzzer approached.
Eduard GALLARDO, coach (ARG), on the first two losses of France 2017: “The goal is to advance to the next round and also Sweden and Denmark are two strong teams; it was not the objective to lose the way the games were lost so that’s why we are going to work even harder for the next game.”
Andreas PALICKA (SWE), on why they won today: “We have players like Albin Lagergren, fast and explosive players, the wing players are very fast. The thing is our defence was very good against the two last opponents, so I got the opportunity to throw nice counter attacks; I’m not used to throwing ten counter attacks per game, so I have a little bit of shoulder pain right now [joking]. It’s good for our team, it’s the play we wanted to play.”
Player of the Match presented by adidas: ZACHRISSON (SWE)
Photo: Julien Crosnier / Francehandball2017