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Rutenka scored four goals in the final / PHOTO: V. Salgado / ASOBAL

The team led by Xavi Pascual lost to Atlético Madrid in the XXXVII edition of the King’s Cup. It was a fiercely contested match for the first 30 minutes, but the Azulgrana’s weren’t able to stop the Colchonero onslaught. The Madrid side staged a comeback in the second half to claim the title. With this loss, Barça lost its chance to win its 18th Cup title.

Very even first half

At the start, both teams fiercely contested for the advantage. The intensity shown by the Catalans and the Madrid side showed that both teams wanted the title. After 12 minutes, with a 0-3 run for Barça, the Catalans led by 5-8. Saric was one of the main protagonists and he helped maintain the gap between the two sides with some fantastic saves.

Atlético didn’t shy away however, and they did well to take advantage of any Azulgrana error; the reaction was coming. In fact, on 14 minutes they roared back with a 3-0 run of their own to put an 8-8 on the scoreboard. FC Barcelona Intersport, not to be outdone, hit back. While Raúl Entrerríos guided the tempo of the game, Barça jumped to a 8-12 lead, their biggest lead in the first half. The goals were scored by Sorhaindo, Entrerríos, Rutenka and Víctor Tomás.

When it looked like Barça had taken control of the match, the home side mounted another successful comeback. The Madrid side, with Cañellas leading the way, took advantage of the Víctor Tomás’ expulsion to come within one of Barça (12-13) with only four minutes to go before the half. The two teams kept at it with the same intensity for the remainder of the half and Barça managed to go to the break with a one-goal advantage (14-15).

Atético claims the title

The second half picked up where the first left off. The game was a back and forth between two sides that desperately wanted the title. The Madrid side, thanks to their accuracy in front of goal and Barça’s imprecision, took the lead and didn’t look back. They managed to open a seven-goal lead on 20 minutes over Barça (32-25).

The Azulgranas were struggling to stop Atlético’s offensive play, especially Kallman, who took advantage of all of Atlético’s counterattacks to widen the gap that separated both sides. Barça was also struggling to overcome Hombrados in the Atlético Madrid goal. On 23 minutes, Barça came within four goals of their rival, but the red and whites never let up. In the end, 37-31, Atlético claimed their King’s Cup crown.

MATCH STATS

BM ATLÈTIC DE MADRID, 37
FC BARCELONA INTERSPORT, 31

BM Atlètic de Madrid: Hombrados, Roberto García (3), Guardiola (1), Dinart (-), Kallman (5), Jurkiewicz (2) and Chema Rodríguez (2) -starting team-, Antonio Díez, Edu Fernández (-), Markussen (4), Aginagalde (6), Davis (-), Cañellas (5), Alberto Entrerríos (2) and Lazarov (7).

FC Barcelona Intersport: Saric, Rocas (2), Nagy (5), Sarmiento (2), Rutenka (4), Juanín García (4) and Noddesbo (1) -starting team-, Sjostrand, Víctor Tomás (2), Raúl Entrerríos (6), Sorhaindo (2), Ugalde (1), Jermenyr (-), Aguirrezabalaga (-), Morros (-) and Igropulo (2).

Referees: José Miguel García Fernández and Javier Pastor Gamón.

Scoreboard in increments of 5 minutes: 2-2, 4-5, 8-8, 8-11, 10-13 y 14-15 (halftime) 17-17, 21-19, 25-21, 30-25, 33-28 y 37-31 (final).


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