[[DES_1]]Barça have won an incredible 17 of the 29 editions of the Asobal Super Cup, the latest coming in a hard fought 32-28 win against Franklin Granollers before 4,000 people in Tarragona on Sunday afternoon.
Despite Nikola Karabaticto being sidelined with an archilles tendon injury, Barça had every reason to feel confident against the same side that they had already beaten fairly comfortably to win the Catalan Super Cup, but Granollers had learned their lesson and after nine minutes were leading 3-6. Shiarhei Rutenka was largely to thank for Barça’s reaction, and things were soon back level at 7-7.
Barça coach Xavi Pascual opted to give a chance to young keeper Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas, who saved a key penalty that would have put Granollers four ahead, before goals from Rutenka and Kiril Lazarov left things back level in time for the break, but with Granollers’ chances taking a serious knock when their best player, Toledo, was withdrawn with an ankle problem.
Boosted by a stream of goals from Gudjon Sigurdsson and Víctor Tomás, plus some more fine saves from their young keeper (Perez de Vargas finished with 15 saves in 43 minutes), the second half saw Barça fly into a 20-16 lead.
Granollers had managed to get back within one goal by the 45th minute, but they were running out of resources, and Barça got their tactics spot on, as did Sigurdsson, Lazarov and Tomás with their shooting, and by the 53rd minute, their 29-24 lead was looking unassailable.
And that did indeed prove to be the case. It ended 32-28 with Sigurdsson (8), Rutenka (6) and Tomás (6) leading the Barça scoring.
The win consolidates Barça’s role as the absolute masters of this competition. The nearest anyone can come to their seventeen Super Cups are Atlético Madrid, Ciudad Real and San Antonio, who have three wins each.