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Nikola Karabatic

Nikola Karabatic / Photo: Victor Salgado

Barça’s handball team stay top of the Liga Asobal with eight wins after having few difficulties disposing of Bidasoa in the last game before the international break.

Dodgy start

Bidasoa were keen to give their fans something to feel positive about, and went into an early lead (3-1), but before the first five minutes were up, FCB had scored three in a row to take a 3-4 lead.

Bará squandered several counter attacks, and the first ten minutes ended with Bidasoa just a point adrift (6-7). Saric then saved a penalty to prevent the Basques from levelling the game, and from that moment on, Barcelona started breaking away.

Quick reaction

They didn’t exactly have the game under their control but Saric’s class in goal and some rock-solid defending spurred FCB into the first sizeable lead after 20 minutes (7-12). There was then a minor comeback from the home side (10-13), but it was a false awakening. Barça stormed ahead to make it 12-19.

Saric took a knock with five minutes of the first half left, and although it wasn’t particularly serious, he was withdrawn as a precautionary measure.

Flying away

The second half began with FC Barcelona scoring the first three goals to raise the margin to ten (12-22). Fernando Bolea was seeing his opponents devastated by Barça’s lightning counter attacks, and called timeout in the desperate hope of finding a solution.

Grinding down the clock

It took 36 minutes for any players to be sin-binned (Noddesbo), which shows what a placid game it was. But Bidasoa failed to take any advantage of the situation, only scoring twice during the period, while Barça managed to make sure that the difference remained in double figures, mainly thanks to the saves from Arpad Sterbik (11 in total) and goals from Stranovsky (8), Noddesbo (6) and Aitor Ariño (5).

No fewer than six players (Noddesbo, Entrerrios, Sarmiento, Rutenka, Figueras and Balaguer) got 100% shooting rates. Víctor Tomás, Juanín Garcia and Sorhaindo were all rested by Xavi Pascual, while Adrià Figueras made his Liga Asobal debut for Barça, and scored one goal to mark the occasion.

MATCH STATS

BIDASOA IRÚN, 22
FC BARCELONA, 34

Bidasoa Irún: Zubiria, Ugarte (4), Crowley (3), Díaz de Cerio, Aldunate (1), Jauregi (4), Mugica (1) –starting seven-, Cavero (1), Fernando Rincón (2), David Rincón (4), Aramburu, Susperregui, Azkue (2), Roberto Alvarez and Otegui.  

FC Barcelona: Saric; Noddesbo (6), Sarmiento (1), Gurbindo (1), Rutenka (4), Stranovsky (8), Saubich -starting seven-, Lazarov (2), Ariño (5), Morros, Entrerrios (2), Adrià Figueras (1), Karabatic (1), Kasal (1), Balaguer (2) and Sterbik.

5 minute periods: 3-3, 6-7, 7-11, 7-12, 11-16, 12-19 (half time), 13-24, 14-26, 16-27, 18-28, 20-31, 22-34 (final)

Referees: Javier and José Gude.


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